Mild to moderate fever stimulates the defense mechanisms against infection thus it is not necessary to normalize the temperature completely. Experimental evidence has shown that high temp is associated with decrease in microbial and viral reproduction and increase in immunological activity. However, fever may increase oxygen uptake, impair cardiac output and cause discomfort.
Mild to moderate fever need not to be treated with antipyretics if child is comfortable, active and playful. When counseling families, physicians should emphasize the child's comfort and signs of serious illness rather than emphasizing normothermia. Aim of antipyretics is to relieve discomfort caused by the fever. Use of repeated and long action antipyretics may mask severity of disease.
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