Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fever Causing Headaches For Australian Parents

Date:
September 12, 2007
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
Australian parents need to be educated about managing fever in young children because many give medication incorrectly and often unnecessarily, according to a researcher.

New Australian research suggests there is widespread confusion in the community about managing children's fevers.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Australian parents need to be educated about managing fever in young children because many give medication incorrectly and often unnecessarily, according to a Queensland University of Technology nursing researcher.

QUT senior research fellow Anne Walsh conducted the first study into how Australian parents' manage childhood fever as part of her PhD. Her results were published in the latest Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Ms Walsh found that, of more than 400 Queensland parents surveyed, paracetamol was administered too frequently by 4 per cent and ibuprofen by 32 per cent.

She said the finding that 23 per cent administered ibuprofen every four hours instead of the recommended six- to eight-hourly intervals was disturbing.

Ms Walsh expressed concern at the rise over the past decade of the practice of alternating over-the-counter antipyretic medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (in products such as Nurofen).

"This is disturbing because our survey revealed that it was very common for parents to give these medications for mild fever and at too frequent doses," Ms Walsh said.

"Given that such a high percentage of parents are giving ibuprofen too frequently, it may be that they are assuming it is the same as paracetamol which can be given four hourly."

The senior research fellow said she was also concerned that, despite two decades of research that proved a mild fever could be beneficial to fighting infection, more than half of parents continued to reduce mild fever unnecessarily.

"There is a consensus in research that fever up to 40C is beneficial in fighting illness and little indication that there is any need to give medication for a temperature less than 39.0C, except to relieve pain," Ms Walsh said.

She said it was not parents' fault they were mismanaging fever, as they were just following accepted practice and trying to maintain some control over their children's wellbeing.

However, she said, there was an urgent need for evidence-based education for parents and the health professionals who give them information.

"All parents should learn how to manage fever before their child's first febrile episode," she said.

"Many parents see these medications as having magical qualities such as calming upset children, sedating them or lifting a child's mood.

"However, incorrect use of antipyretics can result in things like liver damage and stomach upset.

"In many cases it would be better if parents first manage fever by giving their children more fluids and rest, and keeping them comfortable."

Ms Walsh said it was important to closely monitor unwell children and seek medical advice if they were feverish under six months; suffered headache, neck stiffness or light hurt their eyes; had breathing difficulties; refused to drink; persistently vomited; were drowsy; suffered pain; had a rash of red-purple spots; or did not improve from mild symptoms within 48 hours.

"Especially in the wake of the recent flu outbreak, it's very important to monitor children and if they do deteriorate quickly then seek medical advice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Fever Causing Headaches For Australian Parents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906093415.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2007, September 12). Fever Causing Headaches For Australian Parents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906093415.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Fever Causing Headaches For Australian Parents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906093415.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins