SYDNEY, June 7 (Xinhua) -- One in three children aged under 6 taken to hospital emergency departments with a fever might be doing so unnecessarily and could instead be treated by general practitioners, according to the latest Australian research.
The findings, which involved more than 450 patients with fever, may help parents better manage ailments of their children, improve health outcomes and "reduce the overall burden on the health system," the University of Tasmania said on Thursday about its study.
"In most of these cases, kids were given fluids to drink and the only other treatment needed was a drug such as paracetamol to reduce fever."
Fever is recognized by clinical guidelines when a body temperature above 38 C and is the "second most common indication for a child to be admitted to hospital," the researchers wrote in a report published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.
"Parents' fear of fever, or fever phobia', has been well documented, both nationally and internationally, over the past three decades. It has been reported that many parents are unable to determine what a normal temperature for their child is and are excessively concerned about the harm that they expect to be associated with fever, such as brain damage and seizures."
The study was "useful not only in Australia but may also be applicable to other countries as fever phobia and resultant inappropriate health-care utilization have been reported in many other areas around the world."