There are many myths about fever, its dangers, and how to reduce them. Many people are surprised to learn that it is often not necessary to try to lower the temperature at all. But if the fever is uncomfortable for you or your child, there are things you can do to get rid of it, and many things should not be done.
What can you do
Most often, fever occurs when our body tries to fight infection. The body's core temperature increases as a defense mechanism, trying to warm the body enough so that invading microbes cannot survive. So the fever is good.
Of course, they can also make us feel awful. We often feel sick and unhappy when we have a fever and we just want to be as comfortable as possible.
Children tend to tolerate fever better than adults. If your child has a high fever but still plays and acts mostly like himself, you don't need to do anything to lower his temperature.
Try fever reducers
Antipyretic medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) are one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower a fever. These drugs work relatively quickly and can make you feel better in four to eight hours.
Acetaminophen can be used in children 2 months and older. However, if your baby is less than 3 months old and has a high fever , consult your pediatrician before giving any medication.
Ibuprofen can be used in children from 6 months of age. Aspirin should not be given to children, but it can be used by adults over 18 years of age .
Drink much liquid
Consistent fluid intake is very important, but even more so when you have a fever. Higher body temperature can lead to faster dehydration. Drinking cold fluids reduces the likelihood of dehydration and even helps cool the body .
To take a bath
Taking a bath can help lower the temperature, but what really matters is that it cannot be a cold bath. While it may seem like it would help more than a warm bath, stepping into cold or icy water will cause chills that can raise the internal temperature .
Taking a bath at a comfortable temperature will help you relax and lower the temperature.
Cold packs under the arm
A commonly used first aid method to reduce fever or hyperthermia is to place cool bags under the arms and in the groin area. It is most often used when a person is overheating due to external factors (such as exercise or being outdoors for a long time in extreme heat), but it can also help in high temperatures .
It is important to know that after the cold compresses are removed, the fever can return. Also, don't use ice packs; a cold washcloth is sufficient.
What not to do
Unfortunately, many people fear a fever and can make dangerous mistakes trying to bring it down. This is something you should never do to lower your temperature.
Do not rub with alcohol
This old antipyretic is a very bad idea. If someone recommends using rubbing alcohol for you or your child to lower the temperature, don't do it. This is not only ineffective, it can also cause alcohol poisoning .
Don't go to the ice bath
As mentioned above, you can take a bath while it is warm. Taking an ice bath can (very) temporarily lower your body temperature, but it will quickly cause chills, which will actually raise your core temperature .
Do not take your medicine in the middle.
Taking too many antipyretic drugs or taking two different drugs at the same time is not only ineffective but also dangerous. This can damage your organs and will not lower your fever any faster. Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose is a common reason children go to the emergency room .
Health professionals recommend:
- Do not switch between antipyretic medications.
- Write down the last time you gave the medicine.
- Contact other caregivers to avoid unknowingly administering additional medications.
- Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
Check the ingredients
It is important to check the composition of all the medicines you take . Many multi-symptom cough and cold remedies contain acetaminophen. You should not give additional antipyretic medications if you are also taking one of these multisymptomatic medications containing paracetamol or another antipyretic medication.
When to see a doctor
It is understood that people often worry about fever. And there are times when you should ask your doctor about your temperature, but this is very rare due to the number on the thermometer.
An exception to this rule is an increase in body temperature in young babies:
- Any child under 3 months with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should be seen by a doctor (preferably a pediatrician).
- Babies between 3 and 6 months of age with a temperature above 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit should be seen by a doctor.
This is not because the fever hurts them, but babies can have very serious illnesses that cause fever and may need special tests to make sure they are being treated properly.
If you are concerned about your child's temperature or temperature , you can always contact your healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and receive treatment recommendations.
Frequently asked questions
How long does the fever usually last?
The fever usually goes away in one to three days. A persistent fever that lasts for more than a specific period of time or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a rash, requires medical attention.
What temperature is considered feverish?
The CDC defines a fever as 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher. Other signs of fever include a feeling of warmth to the touch, reports of excessive heat, and alternating sensations of heat and chills.