What to do if your child has a fever
Advice from Prof. S. Q. Nizami

When a child falls sick, parents get really worried, and they are unsure about what they should be doing. They want their child ​to recover immediately. However, this is not always possible. Here are some important things to remember:

​​1. Don't panic and worry​. If you don't know the reason behind the fever and the right treatment is not given to the child, the child's fever will not be cured. You may end up giving the incorrect medicines to your child if you panic. The wrong treatment can harm your child's health. 

2. Most fevers are viral and go down on their own within 3 to 5 days without any medication. 

3. If you give your child antibiotics, you risk them developing antibiotic resistance.  

4. The fever will not go down until its cause is addressed. 

​​5. The impact of medicines last as long as the child takes them. As soon as you stop taking the medicines, the fever can return if its underlying cause is not addressed. 

​6. Antibiotics are not the cure for the fever. They kill the germs so that once the germs are gone, the fever will go. 

7. Fever medicines should not be given in excessive quantities. They can be damaging and lead to potential side effects. 

8. Some generic medications are available under multiple names. Patients often use the same medications by different names, thinking they are providing their child different medicines. For example, Paracetamol is available under 50 different names, including Calpol and Panadol. If someone is giving their child both Calpol and Panadol, assuming they are different medicines, they may increase the dosage.

9. ​​Medications should be given based on the child's age and weight. 

10. Paracetamol is generally a safe medication, but if given beyond the recommended dose, it can damage the liver and pose a life-threatening risk. 

​11. People tend to withhold food and drink from their child with a fever. During a fever, a child may already have a reduced appetite but actually needs more nutrition. If food is withheld, the child may become weak, and become more vulnerable to other illnesses. For example, a child weighing 12kg might end up at 10kg after the fever subsides due to a lack of proper nourishment. 

12. There's a misconception that certain foods, like rice and bread, can be harmful and intensify a fever. Different countries have different diets, and in general, regular foods do not pose problems during a fever. ​