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Monday, May 25, 2009

Those Fever Pads can give Parents a false sense of security!

I saw two kids yesterday who came into the clinic with fever pads on their heads. I get really concerned when I see fever pads, because invariably when I take their temperature, it is going to be really high. And just as I predicted, both kids were having temperatures approaching 40 degrees.

I don't use fever pads for my own kids. When they get a fever, I feed them with paracetamol and use a wet towel to wipe them from the top of their head to the waistline and I keep doing it until the fever becomes manageable. The problem with the fever pads is that parents feel that just by putting on the fever pad, they have already done their job and neglect giving medication and sponging.

So what happens is, when the fever pad absorbs all the heat it can, it stops doing anything and consequently, the child's fever continues to escalate.

If you are a mom or dad, please don't be lulled by the clever marketing tactics of the fever pad companies. It is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly to use a wet towel and it works much better. The only thing the fever pad does is to lull you into a false sense of security.


Anonymous said...

My boy hates fever pads. so I don't use them. Wanted to ask what temperature of water I should use to sponge him with. I've been using cold tap water but I'm always tempted to throw in some ice. Is that ok or does that make things worse?

Thanks for your advice!


ieat said...

Normal room temperature water is fine. It is the evaporation of the water from the surface of the skin that carries away the heat from the body.

rotitelur said...

Dr Tay,

At what point we should stop the sponging and bring the kid to the hospital when he has fever?


ieat said...

If after half an hour of sponging, the child is still having a high fever and not looking very well, then you should bring the child to the doctor. There is no strict guidelines and parents should trust their instincts. If the child does not look well, it is safer just to bring the child to the doctor even if the fever is not that high.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dr Tay!


Anonymous said...

Those gel made fever pad from Japan is not effective at all. Less than 15mins, the pad not cold anymore.

Felt like being deceived, because from the packaging it stated cool 8hrs.

zaszon said...

Hi Dr Tay,

My 10 mth old daughter is having a fever around 38 to 39 degrees. Brought her to KK and was given syrup paracetamol. But she hates the taste and we had to resort to putting it into her food. Is there any problem with this method and will she be getting the sufficient dosage?

ieat said...

Well, my son used to have this same problem. We also ended up putting medicine into the milk, although as a doctor I would advise against it. But when he would not take the medicine, you really don't have other options except to use suppositories.