Fever

What is a fever?

A fever is a rise in the body’s temperature above normal. A ‘normal’ body temperature is usually around 37°C, but it can vary depending on where it is measured and also at different times of the day.

A fever is a natural response designed to fight off infections caused by bacteria or viruses. The infection causes the immune system to reset the body’s thermostat to a higher level to ‘kill off the bug’.

A temperature of greater than 38°C usually means you have a fever. However, interestingly, a high fever doesn’t necessarily mean your child has a serious illness.

What is a normal temperature?

A normal temperature is when your child’s body is around 37 degrees Celsius. A fever may be described as mild or high. A mild fever usually means between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. A high fever usually means over 39 degrees Celsius. Remember that a child’s normal body temperature can vary depending on where it is measured, and also at different times of the day

How to take your child’s temperature

It’s a good idea to check your child’s temperature if they feel hot or seem unwell.

There are three ways to take your child’s temperature;

1. Under the arm (axilla) for all children

  • – Place the thermometer high in the armpit
  • – Put their arm down by their side
  • – Read the thermometer after 3 minutes or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the electronic type

2. Under the tongue (oral) for children over 5 years old

  • – Place the thermometer as far under the tongue as possible and have your child keep their mouth closed around the thermometer
  • – Read after 3 minutes or follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • – Do not use this method if your child has recently had a hot or cold drink

3. In the ear (tympanic) for all children

  • – Slide a new throw-away cover over the tip of the thermometer
  • – Hold your child’s head so it does not move and gently pull the ear straight back
  • – The thermometer tip should be gently placed in the ear canal and allowed to fit snugly.
  • – Press the button to turn on the thermometer and wait until the device beeps OR follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When you have a reading remove the thermometer and dispose of the cover

Safety tips

  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Before and after each use, clean the tip of the thermometer with soap and warm water
  • Never leave your child alone while you’re taking their temperature

If you’re unsure how to best use your thermometer, ask your pharmacist to show you how.

When should I take my child to see the doctor?

You should see a doctor if your child has a fever and:

  • Your child is less than 3 months old
  • Your child seems very sick
  • Your child has had a fever for more than 2 days
  • Your child has a rash
  • Your child is vomiting and refusing to drink much

Of course, if you have any concerns about your child’s health, consult your healthcare professional.
Ask for Dymadon by name at your pharmacy.

What should I do if my child has a fever?

  • Let them rest
  • Dress them lightly but ensure they are not cold
  • Give plenty of clear fluids to drink. If your child is younger than 6 months, give extra breastfeeds, cooled boiled water or bottles of formula
  • Sponging with warm or cool water is not recommended
  • Give paracetamol such as Dymadon every 4-6 hours if required. Make sure you don’t give more than 4 doses within a 24-hour period or for longer than 48 hours without seeking advice from a doctor.

Colds, flu and sore throats

Colds, coughs and sore throats are common in children and are usually caused by bacteria or viruses. They tend to occur more frequently in the winter months.

Sore throats:

A sore throat is often described as pain or discomfort in the throat and may be a symptom of bacterial or viral infection.

Signs your child is suffering from a sore throat may include:

  • Crying during feeding
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Throat may appear bright red

To help your child feel better

  • Pain relief is important as reducing pain can encourage your child to eat and drink. Paracetamol such as Dymadon can be used to relieve pain caused by a sore throat.
  • Ensure your child is well hydrated, so give them plenty of water. Your child might also find warm or iced drinks or plain ice-blocks soothing.
  • If your child is on solids, avoid foods that irritate or cause pain when swallowing. Try giving your child soft foods such as soup, jelly, yoghurt, soft or cooked fruit or ice-cream.
  • Make sure that they get enough sleep, the body recovers best when it’s well rested.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.

Usually a sore throat will resolve within 3 weeks without needing medication. Antibiotics don’t always help unless the infection is caused by bacteria.

If your child is very unwell, is not drinking a lot of fluids for longer than 24 hours or has difficulty swallowing, contact your healthcare professional.

Colds and Flu

People often get a cold and the flu confused, as they both result from viruses and some of the symptoms can be similar. BUT, there are important differences.

The common cold

Catching a cold is very common and children can get 5-10 colds a year especially while their immune systems are still developing.

The common cold usually affects the nose, throat and upper airways. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Having a blocked or runny nose
  • Generally your child will recover from their cold within 7-10 days without the need for medical treatment.

The flu or influenza

Influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’, is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus.

Influenza mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs, but it can involve other parts of the body as well. In children, the flu often starts with a fever and at least two of these symptoms;

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Tiredness and low energy
  • Cough
  • Sore throat and runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

To help your child feel better

  • Use paracetamol such as Dymadon if your child is in pain or has discomfort associated with fever. Always read the label to ensure you give your child the right dose.
  • Make sure they get enough sleep the body recovers best when it’s well rested
  • Ensure your child is well hydrated – give them plenty of water.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.

Good hygiene can help prevent the spread of colds and flu. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and try not to share any utensils.

Be aware of warning signs of severe illness which can include poor feeding, dehydration or difficulty breathing. If your child has any of these signs, see a doctor straight away.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health, you should contact your healthcare professional.

Ask for Dymadon paracetamol by name at your pharmacy.

Teething

A baby’s first tooth usually erupts at about six months of age; however, this can occur as early as birth or as late as your child’s first birthday with most children having a full set of teeth by their 2nd or 3rd birthday.

Many babies experience some discomfort during teething. Most babies are irritable when new teeth break through their gums.

Signs and symptoms of teething can include:

  • Frequent crying and crankiness
  • A mild fever
  • Reddened cheeks and drooling
  • Loss of or reduced appetite
  • Mild diarrhoea
  • Sucking or gnawing on toys
  • Pulling the ear on the same side as the erupting tooth

To help your child feel better

The pressure on the gums of chewing something can sometimes provide temporary relief from the pain of teething, you could try;

  • Refrigerating a teething ring (follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
  • Try rubbing your child’s gums gently with a clean finger
  • Ice-blocks or a pacifier may also help
  • Paracetamol such as Dymadon for babies can help to temporarily relieve pain or fever associated with teething
  • Ask for Dymadon paracetamol by name at your pharmacy.

Ear infections and earache

Earaches and ear infections are common in babies and small children and are often associated with pain, discomfort and fever.

Babies and young children are more likely to get middle ear infections than older children because the tubes that connect the middle ear to the throat are smaller, which makes it easier for germs to reach the middle ear.

Most ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses. Around two thirds of acute ear infections are caused by bacteria.

As with colds and flu, antibiotics do not always help an ear infection. Many middle ear infections will clear up on their own in a few days. However, some children will still need a course of antibiotics, especially if they’re really young or very unwell. So, if you think your child may have an ear infection, it is best to see a doctor.

Common symptoms of ear infections include:

  • Irritability or drowsiness
  • Pulling at their ears or putting their fingers in their ears
  • A fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of interest in food
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble hearing
  • Loss of balance
  • Pain ranging from mild to intense
  • They may complain of a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear
  • If your child has any discharge from the ear (that is not normal ear wax) see your doctor immediately.

To help your child feel better:

  • Give paracetamol such as Dymadon if your child is in pain or has discomfort associated with a fever
  • Make sure that they get enough sleep, the body recovers best when it’s well rested
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.
  • Ask for Dymadon paracetamol by name at your pharmacy

Find your nearest Dymadon retailer

Dymadon is sold in all good pharmacies throughout Australia.
IGA KHAN’S SUPA NYNGAN

139 Pangee St NYNGAN Au

43.4 km

Directions
Chemist Warehouse Bairnsdale

458 Main Street

43.6 km

Directions
Airport West Pharmacy

Shop 146 Westfield S/T

46.6 km

Directions

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