Mother and Baby

Parents Advised To Only Give Medication To A Feverish Child If They Appear Distressed

New National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines advise parents to only administer painkillers if their child appears distressed, in a bid to reduce their medication intake and visits to the doctor

A fever is likely to be one of the first heath hurdles children face and it can understandably be very worrying for a parent.

Reportedly one of the most common reasons for a child to be taken to the doctor, new NICE guidelines state that a fever should be initially left to clear up by itself, without administering painkillers and anti-inflammatories.


A fever helps the body fight infections by stimulating the immune system and the first time a child experiences a high temperature is usually when the natural immunity to illness, which newborn babies get from their mother, begins to wear off.

Their temperature could also rise due to teething or following their routine vaccinations.


NICE advice states that medication should only be given when a child appears visibly distressed. In this case, paracetamol or ibuprofen should be given to the child.

Parents should continue using paracetamol or ibuprofen as long as the child appears distressed and consider changing from paracetamol to ibruprophen or vice versa, if the child's distress is not alleviated before the next dose is due.

The organisation advises that the medications should not be used simultaneously.

Did you worry when your child got a high temperature for the first time? Let us know below.

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