The end of fever and the time after
When does the febrile illness end?
When is the child healthy again?
When can the child go back into the community?
A child is considered healthy when all symptoms have subsided and she or he is out of recovery. In simple febrile infections this means one to two days with no fever.
During recovery children are still faint, pale, prone to sweating, and picky. In the morning they may be given warm lemon-honey liquid, mild sage tea during the day, linden tree tea, elder flower tea or chamomile tea in the evening. Warm clothing is important, so the child does not get a cold way too early. Activities should be reintroduced gradually.
Usually, the end of the recovery can be seen by the fact that the child is energetic again, active, with rosy cheeks, appetite is returning, playing, and "has an urge to go."
In times like this it's usually one extra day, and then the child can go back to the community. A child who is taking medication (e.g. antibiotics) should not go back to the community. He, who indeed needs antibiotics, because he’s ill, also needs to be at hime, resting. The child who’s over the fever is no longer contagious. However, in the kindergarten the child may get infected by others in a few days. This is normal in nursery, kindergarten, elementary school, or in case in which the child has several siblings.
From this point of view kindergarten can be considered an “immunological gym”. Kids practice going through things little by little, so by the time they get to school life can go with fewer fevers and fewer absences.
Nursery is, of course, a bit more difficult terrain, because children are even smaller, more responsive, and recover more slowly (and sometimes with more complications).
After a well-endured febrile illness, children sometimes develop new qualities, new skills. For example, they become more talkative, liberated, will have better sleep or appetite, and they appear to be better at something than before. This is a sign that the disease they endured made them more robust. In other words, the child came out of a crisis by gaining something from it.
How to prevent new febrile infections?
By allowing optimal, seamless exposure to common infections. It is a common experience that after some (even high) febrile illnesses, there is a longer break; illnesses are less frequent, shorter and less severe.
Seek medical attention with recurrent fever if:
- within three weeks fever returns to over 38.5 degrees with 2-3-day intervals,
- if the child has travelled to a far eastern country in the past year,
- if he/she has had febrile infections more than 10-12 times a year and possibly with complications.
A toddler who moves about in the community, visits a swimming pool, or comes from a large family may have up to 8-10 feverish illnesses in an average year.
Refer to the literature by numbers in this document here: ReferencesVersion update: 03 October 2020