Fever occurs when a person's body temperature rises above the normal range. Although fevers tend to be harmless, they can cause great discomfort. A very high or persistent fever sometimes requires medical attention, although most fevers only require treatment with home remedies.
Infection is the most common cause of fever. In fact, developing fever is the way the body helps fight infection.
Some other causes include inflammatory conditions, certain types of cancer and reactions to medications or vaccines.
However, there are many ways to treat fever at home. In this article, learn about some safe and effective home remedies for fever for people of all ages.
The average body temperature is around 98.6 ° F (37 ° C). However, body temperature fluctuates naturally throughout the day, especially with physical activity.
Low fever occurs when a person's body temperature reaches 100-102 ° F (37.8 to 39 ° C). A high grade fever occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 104 ° F (40 ° C).
In addition to a higher body temperature, a person with a fever may also experience:
Very high fevers can sometimes cause seizures. These are called "febrile attacks." They are more common in children between 6 months and 5 years of age.
Symptoms of a febrile seizure include:
- turning eyes
- stiffness in the arms or legs
- loss of consciousness
Febrile seizures tend to last a few minutes and generally do not cause serious health problems. However, a child who has had a febrile seizure is more likely to have them again in the future.
There are several things an adult can do to feel more comfortable when he has a fever. These include:
Drink a lot of liquids
During fever, the body needs to use more water to compensate for its elevated temperature. This can lead to dehydration.
Drinking water or an electrolyte replacement drink can help rehydrate the body.
Fighting an infection requires a lot of energy. People should rest as much as possible to help the body recover.
Taking a warm bath
Many people consider taking a cold bath when they have a fever. However, doing so can cause chills, which will further increase body temperature.
Instead, people can take a warm or warm bath to help the body cool down. A bath can also help calm tired muscles.
Use of over-the-counter medications.
Medications are generally not necessary to treat fever. However, some over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help reduce fever and make a person feel more comfortable. These medications include:
Having a fever can make one person feel hot one minute and cold the next. Using too many layers can trap heat against the body, further increasing body temperature.
People should wear few layers and add more if they begin to feel cold.
The treatments for fever in children are very similar to those for adults. However, there are some subtle differences.
For example, to treat fever, children and babies should try:
Drink a lot of liquids
Like adults, children with fever also need a lot of fluids. However, it can be difficult to get young children to drink extra water.
Some more attractive alternatives include:
- warm chicken broth
- flavored jelly
- diluted fruit juice
Children may feel better after taking over-the-counter medications. As a result, they can feel more energetic and playful.
However, it is important to ensure that children rest until the fever or illness has passed.
If a child cannot sleep or relax, parents and caregivers can try to read a story or play soft music.
Taking hot baths
Children are unlikely to appreciate bathing when they are sick. An alternative option is to place a warm washcloth on the child's forehead to help calm the fever.
People should never apply alcohol to rub on a child's skin in an attempt to calm the fever. Alcohol can be dangerous when absorbed into the skin.
Take over-the-counter medications.
As with adults, medication is usually not necessary for a child with a fever. However, taking over-the-counter medications can help reduce fever and make a child feel more comfortable.
A medication that is suitable for children of most ages is acetaminophen. It is available under the Tylenol brand.
The manufacturers of Tylenol claim that it is suitable for use even in very small babies. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not provide dosing instructions for paracetamol in children younger than 2 years.
People who wish to treat a small baby should consult their doctor or pharmacist about appropriate doses.
Some medications are not suitable for children under certain ages. These include aspirin, which is not suitable for people under 16, and ibuprofen, which is not suitable for children under 3 months or those weighing less than 5 kilograms.
Ibuprofen is also not suitable for children with asthma.
People should be sure to consult a doctor if they or their children experience a very high or persistent fever that does not respond to medication.
It is also important to seek medical attention if the fever is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- stiffness or pain in the neck
- light sensitivity
These symptoms could indicate a more serious infection, such as meningitis.
The threshold for seeking medical treatment is typically lower for children and babies than for adults. In general, people should seek medical treatment for a child who:
- you are under 3 months old and have a fever of 100.4 ° F (38 ° C) or more
- is 3–6 months old and has a temperature of 102.2 ° F (39 ° C) or more
- You have a fever that has lasted more than 5 days.
- have other signs of illness, such as rash
- you have symptoms of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, lack of tears when crying or diapers that are not very wet
- does not eat and seems generally bad
Fever is a common symptom of infection and inflammation. In most cases, a person can help relieve fever at home.
Fever usually does not require medical treatment. However, taking over-the-counter medications can reduce a person's body temperature and help them feel more comfortable.
It is important to remember that some medications are not suitable for children under certain ages. Always check the appropriate treatments and doses with a doctor or pharmacist before giving them to a child or baby.
A person should consult a doctor if they or their children experience high or persistent fever that does not respond to medication. A fever that is accompanied by more serious signs of illness also requires medical attention.