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Worldwide, paracetamol is the most commonly used antipyretic for children and the drug of first choice for reducing fever named in the majority of practice guidelines. However, whether or not it is necessary or desirable to treat fever is questionable. The provision of accurate information on the causes and treatment of fever can decrease the help-seeking behaviour of parents. Paracetamol is both effective and advisable when there is a combination of fever and pain. Fever on its own does not require treatment and doctors should therefore show caution about advising paracetamol for children who have just this symptom. The effect of paracetamol on the general well-being of children with fever on its own has not been unequivocally proven. Treatment with paracetamol for the prevention of febrile convulsions has been proven ineffective. There are indications that inhibiting fever through paracetamol can adversely affect the immune response. The use of paracetamol can produce mild side effects and hepatotoxicity.