Fever at the Child Age. Emotional Background of Febrile State and Therapeutic Efforts of the Parents

Authors: Á. Kerekes
Authors‘ workplace: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Lékařská fakulta, Hradec Králové děkan LF HK prof. MUDr. V. Palička, CSc.
Published in: Čes-slov Pediat 2007; 62 (11): 610-618.
Category: Original Papers


Fever is one of the most frequent symptoms accompanying infectious and non-infectious diseases at the child age. It is also a source of important fears of the parents for possible consequences of the fever itself and exaggerated therapeutic efforts, which may result in inadequate therapy of febrile states. The present study was set out to outline the opinions and fears associated with febrile state most often encountered in this country. The parents’ preferences in selecting a specific drug and eventual correctness of their application were the other priorities of the study.

A questionnaire population survey addressed parents of children at the pre-school and school age. The questions paid attention to the axis pair: fear of fever and home antipyretic therapy. The questions referring to fear were to map emotional relation of the parents to fever and offered them to express their intuition and subjective opinions. The questions related to procedure in the antipyretic treatment were constructed so as to obtain most reliable and objective data.

Phobia from fever has been confirmed from various directions also in this country. The dosing of antipyretics in the home phase proved to be considerably variable and examples of chronic overdose were rather frequent.

The selection of suitable forms is of utmost importance – in view of easy and understandable principles of application (the parent point of view) as well as the desirable effect a correct dosing (the physician’s point of view). In order to unify the procedures in antipyretic therapy and in the psychological conduct, public education, physicians treating children and adolescents play a key role.

Key words:
fever phobia, febrile seizures, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), paracetamol, N-acetylcystein, ibuprofen, cold pack

Neonatology Paediatrics General practitioner for children and adolescents
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