New evidence for predicting the risk of serious illness in children has prompted NICE to update its guidance on the assessment of children under 5 years with fever (temperature >37.5°).

Most of the recommendations of the original guideline, published in 2007 – including the use of the traffic light system – remain. But new recommendations have been added to take account of new data about the relationship of heart rate to fever in predicting the risk of serious illness in children and the clinical and cost-effectiveness of therapy with paracetamol and ibuprofen in this setting.

The guideline also includes a summary table of symptoms and signs suggestive of specific diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia.

In support of the new guidance, NICE has developed an Excel-based assessment tool, clinical case scenarios, costing statement, a slide set and electronic audit tools.

For full guidance visit: Guidance