National Reyes Syndrome Foundation UK

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Information for Parents, Teenagers and General Public

What can I do if my child has a fever and I cannot use aspirin?

Fever is a normal response to infection. It may actually help your child to fight off viral illness. The NHS advise as an aid to preventing Reye’s syndrome that if your child or teenager has flu (influenza) or other viral infections, ibuprofen or paracetamol can be used to reduce their fever and relieve pain. However, ibuprofen is not recommended for those with a history of asthma, kidney disease, or liver disease. Check with your GP or pharmacist if you are unsure. For further information consult the 'NHS Choices' website - find Reye's Syndrome under 'Health A-Z' (R.S.) - see the resources on this page.

Alternatively, there are a number of non-drug actions which may be taken:-

  1. Excess covering and clothes should be removed.
  2. Sponge or bathe the child (especially the head, neck and face) with cool water and allow this to evaporate. This will induce sleep.
  3. Keep the room at moderate temperature.
  4. Encourage the child to drink liquids such as water or non-fizzy soft drinks.

If the fever does not respond to any of these measures, obtain advice urgently from your doctor.

Children under 12 months of age who have fever should NOT BE TREATED WITHOUT MEDICAL ADVICE.