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Arch Dis Child. 2000 Mar;82(3):238-9.

Physical treatment of fever.

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  • 1Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK.


Fever is a common symptom of childhood illness, and much time and effort is spent in the pursuit of reducing high temperature. Although antipyretic drugs are the main form of treatment, this report considers the part that physical treatments might play in reducing the temperature of febrile children. Such treatments include tepid sponging, removing clothing, and cooling the environment. Of these treatments, tepid sponging has been studied most extensively, as an addition to paracetamol, but seems to offer little advantage over paracetamol alone. It is likely that other methods might be equally ineffective because they all rely on similar methods of heat loss.

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