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5 year old child, running nose, mild fever. Diagnosed with Down's syndrome. Is fever a concern?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My co-worker has a 5 year old daughter with Down's syndrome. The school calls on several occassions for her to pick her daughter up due to a runny nose and 99.0 fever. Her activity level is normal and the doctor doesn't want to always keep her on antibiotics. With her narrower than normal nasal passages, the runny nose is common. Is the fever a concern? Does she really need to be sent home from school?
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 50 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.

Runny nose or rhinitis and 99 F temperature can occur in common cold and may not always indicate flu or infection.

The doctor is right in refusing antibiotics for every such episode as frequent treatment with antibiotics may give rise to resistant infections.

The downs syndrome has no added risk of spread of infection to other kids so she should be treated like any other kid with a cold.

A temperature of 100 or above should be considered a baseline for probable infection and in that case treatment with anti pyretics like acetaminophen is indicated.

If the school has strict guidelines regarding sending home children with fever then its a matter of
of discussion between the school authorities and parents.

The school authorities may not be ready to change a rule for one particular student though.

So though I understand that the downs child is susceptible to colds and rhinitis more frequently, and no I dont think she needs to be sent back from school each time, I cannot comment on the decision of the school. I would advise you consult the childs pediatrician to discuss regarding some preventive measures or early treatment in the form of anti histaminics and nose drops to control the rhinitis.

The child should be protected from extreme cold and dust and taught to wash her hands frequently. She can be given steam inhalation and warm saline gargles for symptomatic

Once her immunity builds up, which wil be after a couple of years, she wil have decreased incidence of such episodes.

Hope I have answered your query.

I'll be available for any follow up queries.

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