Understanding discomfort in order to appropriately treat fever

Mattia Doria, Domenico Careddu, Flavia Ceschin, Maria Libranti, Monica Pierattelli, Valentina Perelli, Claudia Laterza, Annarita Chieti, Elena Chiappini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although national and international guidelines on the management of childhood and adolescent fever are available, some inadequate practices persist, both from parents and healthcare professionals. The main goal of bringing children’s temperature back to normal can lead to the choice of inappropriate drugs or non-necessary combination/alternation of antipyretic treatments. This behavior has been described in the last 35 years with the concept of fever-phobia, caused also by the dissemination of unscientific information and social media. It is therefore increasingly important that pediatricians continue to provide adequate information to parents in order to assess the onset of signs of a possible condition of the child’s discomfort rather than focusing only on temperature. In fact, there is no clear and unambiguous definition of discomfort in literature. Clarifying the extent of the feverish child’s discomfort and the tools that could be used to evaluate it would therefore help recommend that antipyretic treatment is appropriate only if fever is associated with discomfort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4487
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2019


  • Children
  • Discomfort
  • Fever
  • Paracetamol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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