Fever is a common symptom of a virus, infection, sunburn, heat-stroke, or even medication. X Research the source Body temperature rises as a natural defense against infection and disease. An area of the brain called the hypothalamus regulates body temperature, which fluctuates throughout the day by a degree or two from the normal 37 °C level. Fever is generally defined as an increase in body temperature above the normal body temperature of 37 °C. X Trusted Source Mayo Clinic Visit a source While a fever is a natural process that can help your body heal, there may be times when you want to ease the discomfort caused by a fever or see a doctor.
Reducing Fever with Medicine
Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These drugs are over-the-counter and are effective in temporarily reducing fever. This medicine can be used for children and adults to make them feel more comfortable while their body is in the healing process.
Consult a doctor or pharmacist before using it (formulated for children or infants).
Do not use more than the recommended dose. Pay close attention to the dosage you give to children. Do not place the medicine bottle within the reach of children, because taking more than the recommended dose can be dangerous.
Take acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours, but not more than the recommended dose on the label.
Take ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours, but not more than the recommended dose on the label.
Do not combine drugs for children. Do not give children more than one over-the-counter medication at a time to treat other symptoms. If you give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen, do not give them cough drops or other medicines without consulting their doctor. Some medications interact with each other and can harm your child’s health.
For infants over 6 months of age, children, and adults, it is safe to use acetaminophen and ibuprofen interchangeably. The usual dose of acetaminophen is every 4-6 hours and ibuprofen every 6-8 hours, depending on the dose.
Use aspirin only if you are over 18 years of age. Aspirin is effective in reducing fever for adults, as long as you take it at the recommended dose. Never give adult aspirin to children , as it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder.
Overcoming Fever Symptoms with Home Remedies
Drink lots of fluids. It is very important to keep fluids in your body during a fever, as a rise in body temperature can lead to dehydration. Drinking water and other fluids helps the body flush out the viruses or bacteria that cause fever. However, you should avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can lead to further dehydration.
Green tea can help lower fever and boost your immune system.
If you feel nauseous or vomit during a fever, avoid fruit juices, milk, sugary drinks and carbonated drinks. These drinks can make you feel nauseous and vomit.
Try replacing solid foods with soups or broths to help restore fluids in the body (but pay attention to the salt content). Eating ice cream sticks is also a great way to get some fluids and also helps cool your body.
If you are vomiting, your electrolytes may be out of balance. Drink an oral rehydration solution or sports drink that contains electrolytes.
Children under one year of age who do not drink breast milk regularly or who refuse to breastfeed during illness should drink a rehydration solution containing electrolytes, such as Pedialyte, to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.
Rest as much as possible. Sleep is the body’s natural way of recovering from illness; in fact, sleeping too little can make you sick. Trying to fight back and keep going may even raise your body temperature. By making sure you get enough sleep, you allow your body to use its energy to fight infection instead of being used for something else.
Take time off from work, or if your child is sick, allow him or her off school to rest at home. The extra sleep your child is getting is a surefire way to speed up recovery, and the source of the fever may be contagious, so it’s best to keep him at home. Many fevers are caused by viruses that remain highly contagious as long as the fever is still there.
Wear light, breathable clothes . Do not cover yourself and your child with blankets and layered clothing. You may feel cold, but your body temperature can’t start to drop if you’re covered in blankets or heavy clothing. Wear light but comfortable pajamas.
Do not try to “sweat out” a fever by wrapping a person with a fever.
Eat as usual. Even though the old adage says “don’t eat too much”, this is not good advice. Continue to nourish your body with healthy foods for a faster recovery. Chicken soup is a great choice, as it contains vegetables and protein.
If you don’t have an appetite, try replacing solid foods with soups or broths to help replenish fluids in your body.
Eat foods that are high in water, such as watermelon, to keep you hydrated.
If you feel nausea or vomiting with your fever, try eating soft foods like saltine crackers or applesauce.
Try drinking herbs. Some herbs can help bring down a fever or help your immune system fight off the cause of the fever. However, herbs and natural remedies can interfere with medications and other medical conditions, so you should ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking them.
Andrographis paniculata is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds, sore throats, and fevers. Use 6 g per day for 7 days. Do not use andrographis if you have biliary disease or an autoimmune disease, are pregnant or trying to conceive, or are taking blood pressure medications or blood thinners such as warfarin.
Thousand leaves ( yarrow ) can help reduce fever by making the body sweat. If you are allergic to ragweed or asters, you may experience an allergic reaction to millipede. Do not consume leaf of a thousand if you are taking blood thinners or blood pressure medications, lithium, stomach acid reducers, or anti-seizures. Children and pregnant women should not use thousand leaves. You may be able to add a thousand leaf tincture to a warm (not hot) bath to help bring down a fever.
Despite the name feverfew , this plant is actually not very good at reducing fever.
Take a shower using lukewarm water. Soaking in lukewarm water, or taking a shower, are easy and convenient ways to bring down a fever. Soaking in lukewarm or room temperature water is usually the right temperature to cool your body without upsetting your balance. This can be especially helpful if done right after taking fever-reducing medication.
Do not bathe or bathe your child in hot water. Also avoid showering using cold water, this can cause shaking which will increase the body’s internal temperature. If you want to take a shower, the right temperature is lukewarm, or slightly above room temperature.
If your child has a fever, you can bathe him with a sponge dipped in lukewarm water. Gently clean your child’s body, pat or dry with a soft towel, and dress him quickly so he doesn’t get cold, which will cause shaking, and will heat up the body.
Never use rubbing alcohol to bring down a fever. Rubbing alcohol baths are an ancient method that people use to bring down fevers, but they can cause body temperature to drop very quickly and be dangerous.
Rubbing alcohol can also cause coma if consumed, so it is not suitable for use or storage around small children.
Measuring Body Temperature
Choose a thermometer. There are several types of thermometers, including digital and glass (mercury) models. The most common way to take the temperature of an older child or adult is to place a digital or glass thermometer under the tongue, but some thermometers use other ways to measure.
Digital thermometers can be used orally or rectally (see below) or in the armpit (though this reduces the accuracy of the measurement results). The thermometer will sound when finished measuring, and the temperature will be displayed on the screen.
A tympanic thermometer is used inside the ear canal, and it measures temperature with infrared light. The disadvantage of this thermometer is that the build-up of earwax or the shape of the ear canal can interfere with the accuracy of the measurement.
Temporal thermometers use infrared light to measure temperature. This thermometer is great because it is fast and less invasive. To use this type of thermometer, slide the thermometer from the forehead to the temporal artery, just above the crest of the cheekbone. It’s quite difficult to put it in the right place, but taking a few measurements can increase its accuracy.
A pacifier thermometer can be used for babies. This thermometer is the same as a digital oral thermometer, but is suitable for babies who use a pacifier. The measurement result is displayed when the temperature has been measured.
Check your body temperature. After selecting a thermometer, take your temperature according to the type of thermometer (either orally, in the ear, or temporal artery, or rectally for a child (see below). If your fever is above 39 °C, your baby is over three months of fever with a temperature of more than 39 °C, or a newborn (0-3 months) fever with a temperature of more than 38 °C, see a doctor immediately.
Take a child’s body temperature rectally. The most accurate way to take a child’s temperature is through their rectum, but you must be very careful not to puncture your child’s intestines. The best thermometer for rectal measurements is a digital thermometer.
Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or KY Jelly to the probe of the thermometer.
Turn your child over. Ask someone for help if necessary.
Carefully insert a 1.5 cm or 2.5 cm fork into the anus.
Hold the thermometer and child for one minute, until you hear a beep. Do not remove your child or the thermometer to prevent injury.
Take out the thermometer and read the results that appear on the screen.
Let the fever process. If the fever is low enough (up to 39°C for adults or children over six months), it is not recommended to reduce the fever completely. Fever is caused by the body as a sign that something is wrong, so lowering it can mask a bigger problem.
Dealing with a fever aggressively can also interfere with your body’s natural way of fighting off viruses or infections. A lower body temperature can create an environment where foreign bodies can live, so it’s best to let the fever run its course.
Leaving a fever to last is not recommended for people who are susceptible, taking chemotherapy drugs, or who have recently had surgery.
Instead of trying to bring the fever down, take steps to make you or your child more comfortable during the fever, such as resting, drinking fluids, and being in a cool place.
Know When to Go to the Doctor
Recognize the symptoms of a fever. Not everyone has a normal temperature of exactly 37 °C. A variation of your normal body temperature of one or a degree is normal. Even a low-grade fever is generally nothing to worry about. Symptoms of a low-grade fever include:
Discomfort, feeling too warm
Depending on the cause of the fever, you may also notice the following symptoms: headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, or dehydration.
Go to the doctor if the fever is high. Adults should see a doctor if the fever is higher than 39°C. Children’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of fever than adults. Go to the doctor in the following situations:
Infants under three months of age with a fever over 38°C.
Infants between three and six months of age with a fever over 39°C.
Children of all ages with fever over 39°C.
You or another adult who has a fever of 39°C or higher, especially one accompanied by excessive sleepiness or irritability.
Go to the doctor if the fever lasts more than a few days. A fever that lasts more than two or three days may be a sign of a more serious problem that needs to be treated separately. Don’t try to diagnose yourself or your child; go to the doctor to be checked. You should see a doctor if:
Fever more than 24 hours in children under 2 years old
Fever for 72 hours (3 days) in children older than 2 years
Fever for three days in adults
Know when to seek medical help. If the fever is accompanied by symptoms that indicate other problems, or if the person with the fever has a special condition, you should contact your doctor immediately, no matter how high the fever is. Here are some situations when you should “see immediate medical care”:
Rashes or spots appear on the skin
Looks lethargic or delirious
Unusually sensitive to bright light
Have another chronic condition such as diabetes, cancer or HIV
Just traveled to another country
Fever caused by a very hot environment such as being outside in extreme heat or in a hot car
Fever accompanied by other symptoms such as sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, rash, headache, bleeding during bowel movements, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, neck pain, or pain when urinating
The fever has gone down, but the person is still pretending to be sick
If a person with fever has a seizure, call 118 or 119