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Fam Pract. 1998 Dec;15(6):513-8.

What parents think of fever.

Author information

1
Royal Oldham Hospital, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to assess knowledge, perception and management of fever by parents.

METHODS:

We conducted a questionnaire survey among 392 parents of children attending locally a paediatric clinic at The Royal Oldham Hospital. The main outcome measures were answers to questions covering a variety of aspects of the knowledge, perception and management of fever by parents.

RESULTS:

Almost half the parents used a liquid crystal forehead thermometer. Most could not use a glass thermometer. Thirty per cent did not know normal body temperature and would have treated children with a temperature below 38 degrees C. Sixty-four per cent treated fever with both paracetamol and tepid sponging. Most parents awakened children at night for antipyretics. Eighty-one per cent thought that untreated fever was most likely to cause fits or brain damage and 7% thought it could cause death.

CONCLUSION:

Parents perceive fever as being dangerous. They have a poor knowledge and measure it inaccurately. Needless consultations and hospital admissions could be avoided by a change in perception.

PMID:
10078789
DOI:
10.1093/fampra/15.6.513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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