Fever In Children–A 2013 Guideline from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Feverish Illness in Children: Assessment and Initial Management in Children Younger Than 5 Years  [CG160] was published May 2013 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

There are three pathways available: Feverish Illness in Children OverviewSymptoms and Signs of Specific Illnesses in Children, and Management of Paediatric Specialists for Children With Feverish Illness.

A summary of this guideline is available at the National Guideline Clearing House site.

[8-26-2014: See also my blog post Causes of Fever In Children by Age from Spotting the Sick Child and from the NICE Guidelines: The Traffic Light System and The Flow Chart for Feverish Illness in Children. April 11, 2014.]

See also NICE article NICE issues updated guidance to help assess children running high temperatures. Key from this article are:

  • Assess children with feverish illness for the presence or absence of symptoms and signs that can be used to predict the risk of serious illness using the traffic light system [8-26-2014: See link to my post of April 11, 2014 about the traffic light system.]
  • Recognise that children with tachycardia (raised heart rate) are in at least an intermediate-risk group for serious illness. Use the Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) criteriai to define tachycardia.

The Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS)* criteria to define tachycardia:

Age Heart rate (bpm)
<12 months > 160
12-24 months >150
2-5 years >140

*Advanced Paediatric Life Support: The Practical Approach, Fifth Edition, 2012.


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