Table 3

Illustrative quotes—views on fever

1 Yeah, it’s, it’s scary. Two weeks ago she had a fever, she had it at about, almost 40 her fever was, and it, it is really scary, cos she would literally get really hot to where her face goes red, she’s all sweating, then she’ll cool down and get really, really hot again, and it’s really hard to manage cos you don’t know what to do, cos you don’t know whether you should be putting cold, cold towel on them like, but you don’t wanna shock their body into like all this cold, coldness at once, cos that’s where they start, they start fitting. She had a, a small little fit, like a small convulsion, cos she got too hot.
L007g (Asian British mother, non-immunised children, group interview)
2 See that’s, the only, the only problem that you have with that is that when they’re eight weeks old, no, four weeks old, anything under the, under the age of three months you have to be careful how much Calpol and stuff you can give them, and the only thing you can give them is Calpol. So they are really careful, they, they do tell you to be really careful, but. So if they get a really bad fever, you can only give them one dose of Calpol in a 24 hours period, and that’s the 2.5. I mean that should work, but if it didn’t you’re a bit stuck as a parent as to what you can do to help baby settle down.
Y006a (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
3 I feel that now she’s nine months I’m, I’m more confident when she gets sick or has, has had a fever now, I understand her more and I have natural instincts of how to look after her and how bad she is I can gauge, where when she was younger and she did get a fever from some, the, I think it was the two months, the sixteen week one, I’m not sure, that I was so scared when she was, fell ill and, you know, the, the only kind of conversation you get is, if they should get a temperature give them Calpol, but you’re just so stressed as it is when they’re so young that to have it so, to have it so young is just, to gauge the fever that young is more scary than when they are older, yeah.
L008d (British Philippines mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
4 It (NHS Choices) tells you if a temperature lasts more than three, seventy two hours that you should be worried. I know from my personal experience when (name of daughter) had a temperature and I have, and it’s not been breaking for more than about forty-eight hours, that’s when I’ve started to worry.
L005a (White British mother, fully immunised children, individual interview)
5 And, and what I find reassuring with the imm, immunisation induced fevers you sort of know what it is, whereas if it’s just a random, you know, incident, you’d never, I don’t know, I’d be more worried if I, if it was non-immunisation related.
L001a (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
6 It’s better than meningitis.
Y007a (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
I’d rather him have a fever…
Y007b (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
That’s what I mean, you can, you can control fever with Calpol and certain things. If they get baby ill from not having the vaccine, it’s a lot harder to control than a fever.
Y007a
7 I, I wouldn’t be happy with it. Cos at 2 months you’ve not given her paracetamol before and you don’t know what the side effects are. If she had a fever I would give it to her. But no, I wouldn’t like the idea of, personally, at so young.
L004a (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
8 Q. Would you have it for your baby if the MenB vaccine was introduced?
I’d be so worried about a brand new vaccine, like our generation being kind of tested on it almost, but I think if it was the fact that everyone did and it’s, I probably would, I’d be worried about it though, but I would, if it was, yeah.
L003c (Black British African mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
Q. Because it’s a new thing?
Yeah, it’s a new thing and they’ve been tested, you know, but I think, I think I would.
L003c
Yeah, again I probably would, I mean it, I would probably, the increased risk of fever would be worrying, but I think if there’s anything that they can be protected against, I tend to just go along with what the government are recommending, and if they, if they say it’s safe and I tend to just believe that that’s, that’s true (laughs) trust that it’s true, and, and go with it, and I think I’d rather have them immunised against something and have a little bit of a fever for a day than not, and just them, them catching something awful. (laughs)
L003g (White British mother, fully immunised children, group interview)
I’d still have to be so convinced that it was worth it for, to have fever and for them to be having extra stuff in their bodies…I’d need to be really convinced it was worthwhile.
L003a (Polish mother, partially immunised children, group interview)
9 Q. Does that (the fever) change how you feel about taking him?
It doesn’t, for me not necessarily, no, cos I suppose at least if you know it’s gonna happen you can be equipped with the tools to deal with it, and you can be practical in terms of when you go and have that done and being ready for it and working around it.
Y005a (White British mother, fully immunised children, individual interview)