Fever in a child
Diseases that require immediate care (septicaemia, meningitis; see ) or urgent care (within the next 24 hours; urinary tract infection, pneumonia) must be identified. If the child’s general condition has deteriorated or he/she is irritable, an emergency referral to a hospital is indicated. Infants under the age of 3 months with fever should always be referred to specialist care. If fever is the only presenting symptom, CRP determination should be readily used to rule out bacterial infection in a child whose general condition does not warrant immediate hospital investigations. However, the CRP concentration may also be increased in viral infections and, on the other hand, it may be normal in the initial phases of a bacterial infection. If the child's general condition is poor, laboratory investigations are omitted and the child is referred immediately to specialist care. The child’s condition must be monitored closely enough, and should the symptoms persist the parents should have the possibility to contact the same physician by phone.