Local News Politics

A University of Louisville professor has joined several other doctors in challenging the conventional wisdom regarding fevers in children.

Dr. Jan Sullivan has co-authored a consensus statement in the latest Journal of Pediatrics. The statement says doctors and parents should not necessarily worry about treating a fever if a child is sick. Rather, she says they should treat other symptoms and make sure the child is comfortable.

“Historically, parents have been very concerned that a fever would cause their child to have seizures or cause their child brain damage, and that’s not necessarily true,” she says. “So I’m hoping parents and healthcare providers will re-look at their practice in how they treat fever and not necessarily just try and maintain a normal number, but really look for other things in treating children.”

Sullivan says a fever can help the immune system fight illness. She says this doesn’t apply to children under three months old or those with other medical conditions.