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Paracetamol and ibuprofen to manage fever at home

What medicine can I use to manage my child’s fever?

Medicines like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to reduce fever. They will make your child feel more comfortable but they will not treat the cause of the fever.

Where can I buy the medicine?

On discharge from hospital you will be advised of the doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen your child can have. You can buy the liquid suspension form of paracetamol and ibuprofen from most supermarkets and pharmacies.

The dose will be worked out according to your child’s weight and age and the medicine will be given by either tablets or syrup to take by mouth.

Can I give paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time if they have a fever?

Your should not give your child both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time.

If you give 1 type of medicine and this does not help, you may want to consider waiting 30 minutes and then use the other type of medicine if the fever has not settled.

Instructions for giving paracetamol

Paracetamol last given at Dose given

You should give them mgs every 4 to 6 hours. Give paracetamol no more than 4 times in 24 hours.

Do not exceed the dose and instructions given above.

Instructions for giving ibuprofen

Ibuprofen last given at Dose given

You should give them mgs every 6 to 8 hours. Give paracetamol no more than 3 times in 24 hours.

Do not exceed the dose and instructions given above.

Is there any other advice you can give about managing my child’s fever at home?

Both these medicines can be bought at your local chemist but the brand names may be different to those we are supplying.  If you use their products it is important to ask the advice of the local chemist.

You can help manage your child’s fever by:

  • offer regular drinks (if you are breastfeeding then breast milk is best)
  • do not over or under dress your child
  • do not sponge your child with water.  This does not help to reduce fever
  • check on your child during the night
  • keep your child away from school or nursery while they have a fever and let them know about your child’s absence

When should I seek further advice?

You should seek further advice if:

  • you feel your child’s health is getting worse
  • you are concerned you are unable to look after your child at home while they have a fever

Who do I ring if I am concerned about child’s fever?

Following discharge from the ward you can ring for the first 48 hours for medical advice.

After the first 48 hours you can receive advice from either your family doctor or by ringing NHS 111.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

Resource number: WD34-9

Resource Type: Article

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