A rapid rise in temperature to 40°C or higher can cause convulsions. A fever emergency is when the body temperature, taken in the armpit, is:
38°C or higher for an infant baby.
40°C or higher for a child/adult.
Advise the parent or caregiver to call the doctor immediately and follow his advice.
- If fully conscious, encourage the casualty to drink liquids.
- If the temperature does not go down, sponge the casualty with lukewarm (NOT cold) water for about 20 minutes. Do not immerse the casualty in a tub or bath – the temperature will go down too quickly if the wet skin is exposed to air currents.
- Dry and dress the casualty in comfortable but not too warm clothing.
- Monitor the temperature and repeat steps four and five as necessary until medical help is reached.
If the casualty has a convulsion DO NOT restrain them. Instead:
- Protect him from injury by removing hard objects.
- Loosen tight clothing.
- When the convulsions stop, place the casualty into the best recovery position for his/her age.
DO NOT give children or teenagers Aspirin® or Disprin® as it can cause Reye’s Syndrome which is a life-threatening condition.
A downloadable and printable infographic of this information can be found here.
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