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Sudan J Paed. 2014; 14(1): 59-64

Physical methods used by Sudanese mothers in rural settings to manage a child with fever.

Hanadi M E Mukhtar; Mustafa K Elnimeiri.


Although the mainstays of antipyretic treatments are drugs such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, physical methods are also used. These include tepid sponging, removing clothes, and cooling the environment with fans to improve ventilation. The objective of this study is to assess the physical methods used by Sudanese rural mothers to manage a child with fever. A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed and conducted within 6 months; it involved 332 mothers of children under five. The data were collected through using a standardized administered questionnaire and focus group discussion and analyzed by statistical package for social science version 15.0 (SPSS). Tepid sponging was used by 47% of the interviewed mothers. 15% of the mothers increased fluid intake, 7% bathed the child and 5% put the child in light clothes. 59% of mothers applied tepid sponging on head, 33.9% on all the body, 3.7% and 2.2% on groin area and axilla, respectively. The majority of mothers (86%) used water from refrigerator or zeir [water clay pot] for applying tepid sponging, 9% used tap water, and 3% used ice water. In conclusion, this study revealed that the common physical treatment method for fever used by mothers was tepid sponging with inappropriate application.

Key words: Child; Fever; Physical treatment methods; Tepid sponging

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