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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1012-1018

Parent's knowledge and practice in home management of fever in their children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed M AlAteeq
Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, PO Box 22490, Riyadh 11426
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_18_18

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Background: Fever in children is a common presenting complaint during health visits. Parents frequently have concerns about fever and perceive it as a disease rather than a symptom of illness. Parent's practice of home managing of fever varies according to their background and experience. Objective: To explore parents' perception and practice in home management of fever in their preschool children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (SA). Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. Data were collected from 250 parents attending three main family medicine centers at King Abdul-Aziz Medical City, Riyadh, SA, using self-administered questionnaire. Results: Most of the parents (64%) defined fever correctly and 56% identified high fever. Almost all the parents (95%) believed fever is harmful, and febrile convulsion was the most concerned complication of fever (74%), followed by loss of consciousness, dehydration, brain damage, and hearing loss. Most of the parents (82%) touch their children to confirm fever, 68% use oral thermometer, and 63% use axillary thermometer. Most parents (84%) applied cold compression, 75% gave their children nonprescribed fever medication, 61% gave their children plenty of fluids, and 64% took their children to the doctor right away. Almost one-third of participants reported having difficulty either in choosing fever medicine or giving the proper dose and frequency. No difference in knowledge or practice was found in relation to difference in demographic characteristics of participants. Conclusion: Results of this study indicate poor knowledge and practice in regard to parent's management of febrile children, overuse of nonprescribed fever medication, and possible waste of health resources.

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