Fever is a symptom that accompanies viral and bacterial infections, sunstroke, overheating, and even taking certain medications. The rise in temperature is a protective reaction of the body in response to an infectious agent. The hypothalamus, located in the brain, regulates body temperature during the day to normal values (36.6 ° C). A temperature rise above 37.0 ° C is considered a heat. While fever can help fight infection, in some cases it is necessary to see a doctor to lower your body temperature.
Method 1 of 4: Lowering the Temperature with Medicines
Step 1. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
These drugs are effective in lowering fever and are available without a prescription. They are used in both adults and children.
- Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine to a child under 2 years of age, and do not give ibuprofen to a child under 6 months of age.
- Read the instructions and do not overdose with the drug. Pay attention to the dosage for the child. Keep medicines out of the reach of your child.
- Take paracetamol every 4-6 hours to reduce fever, but do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
- Take ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours, but do not exceed the maximum recommended daily dose.
Step 2. Avoid combining drugs in children
Do not give more than one OTC drug to children. If you are giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen to your child, you do not need to give your child additional cough medicine without consulting your doctor. Some medicines interact with each other and can cause serious harm to health.
Children over 6 months of age and adults can alternate between paracetamol and ibuprofen. Apply the appropriate dosage of paracetamol every 4-6 hours and ibuprofen 6-8 hours
Step 3. Aspirin is indicated from the age of 18
Aspirin effectively lowers fever in adults at the dosages indicated in the instructions. Never give aspirin to children because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, which can be fatal in some cases.
Method 2 of 4: Lowering the temperature with home remedies
Step 1. Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is important as high temperatures can dehydrate you. Also, fluids help the body fight viruses and bacteria. However, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol, which, on the other hand, can contribute to dehydration.
- Green tea lowers fever and boosts immunity.
- If you feel nauseous or vomiting due to fever, avoid fruit juices, sugary drinks, and sodas. Such drinks will increase the feeling of nausea and induce vomiting.
- Replace solid foods with soups and broths to increase your fluid intake (don't add too much salt to foods). Popsicles are a great way to consume both liquid and cool the body.
- Electrolyte imbalances are common with vomiting. Drink oral rehydration solutions or electrolyte-rich sports drinks.
- Children under one year old who are bottle-fed or breast-fed require additional fluid intake, for example, Rehydron.
Step 2. Get more rest
Sleep is an important part of recovery, and lack of sleep contributes to illness. Trying to carry the disease on your feet will increase your temperature. Get enough sleep to keep your body strong enough to fight off infection.
Take a day off and have your child out of school. Additional sleep for the child will contribute to a quick recovery, in addition, you will exclude the infection of others. Fever is often a symptom of a highly contagious viral infection
Step 3. Dress in lightweight, breathable clothing
Do not cover yourself or your baby with a blanket or layers of clothing. The temperature may start to drop, and clothing or a blanket will prevent it from happening. Dress in fine, cozy pajamas.
Don't try to sweat a lot to bring the temperature down - it doesn't work
Step 4. Eat as usual
The saying "hunger, cold and calm" is inappropriate here. Follow your regular diet for a quick recovery. Good old chicken soup will be the best choice as it contains vegetables and protein.
- If you lose your appetite, replace solid foods with soup or broth.
- Eat foods rich in water, such as watermelon.
- If you are vomiting and nauseous with a fever, try to eat simple foods, such as simple salty crackers and applesauce.
Step 5. Use medicinal herbs
Certain herbs can lower fever and boost the immune system. However, some herbs and supplements can interact with medications, so you should check with your doctor before taking them.
- Andrographis paniculata is a traditional Chinese remedy for colds, sore throat and fever. Use 6 g daily for 7 days. Do not use andrographis for gallbladder or autoimmune diseases, during pregnancy and planning pregnancy, hypertension, or while taking blood thinners such as warfarin.
- Yarrow lowers fever by stimulating sweating. If you are allergic to ragweed or chamomile, an allergy to yarrow often develops. Do not take yarrow if you are taking blood thinners, blood pressure medications, lithium medications, anticonvulsants, or antacids. Yarrow is contraindicated in children and pregnant women. Add yarrow tincture to a warm bath to lower the temperature.
- Feverfew is not effective enough to lower the temperature.
Step 6. Take a warm bath
A warm bath or relaxing shower are simple methods to reduce the temperature. A warm or cool bath is a good method for cooling the body. It can be especially effective after taking medication.
- Don't take a hot bath. Avoid cold water, which will cause shivering and a rise in temperature. If you want to take a bath, it is best to take a warm or room temperature bath.
- If the baby has a fever, dampen the sponge with warm water, wipe the baby, and then wipe dry. Dress your baby as soon as possible before the shivers begin, which raises the body temperature.
Step 7. Do not rub the skin with alcohol to lower the temperature
Rubbing with rubbing alcohol is an old way to bring down the temperature, but it tends to cool too quickly.
Drinking alcohol can lead to coma, so it is dangerous to keep it near your baby
Method 3 of 4: Measuring Temperature
Step 1. Select a thermometer
There are several types of thermometers, such as electronic and mercury. The most common are electronic and mercury thermometers, which measure the temperature in the armpit, but there are other types of thermometers.
- Electronic thermometers used orally, rectally or under the armpit (although the accuracy of the result is lower with this measurement). When the thermometer measures the temperature, it will beep and the temperature will be displayed on the screen.
- Ear thermometer It is used to measure the temperature inside the ear canal, thanks to infrared measurement. The disadvantage of this thermometer is a decrease in the accuracy of the result with the accumulation of earwax and the anatomical features of the auditory canal.
- Temporal thermometers measure temperature thanks to infrared radiation. They are the most comfortable due to their non-invasiveness and quick results. To use such a thermometer, you need to attach it to the top of the cheekbone between the forehead and the temple. The correct placement of the thermometer is difficult at first, but with experience the results will be most accurate.
- Dummy thermometer used in children. The thermometer is similar to an oral thermometer, but it can be used with babies who suck on pacifiers. The temperature is displayed on a special screen.
Step 2. Check the temperature
After selecting a thermometer, it is necessary to measure the temperature (orally, in the ear, on the temporal artery, rectally, in the armpit). If an adult has a temperature above 39 ° C, a child older than 3 months has a temperature above 39 ° C, or a newborn (0-3 months) has a temperature above 38 ° C, call a doctor immediately. Step 3. Measurement of temperature rectally in a child.
Rectal temperature measurement is most accurate in children, but care must be taken not to puncture the intestinal wall of the child. An electronic thermometer is suitable for rectal temperature measurements.
- Dip the thin part of the thermometer in petroleum jelly.
- Lay the child on their stomach and ask another adult for help.
- Gently insert the 2.5 cm thermometer into the anus.
- Hold the thermometer and baby still for 1 minute until you hear a beep. To avoid injury, do not let go of the baby and the thermometer.
- Take out the thermometer and find out the measurement result on the screen.
Step 4. Let the temperature drop on its own
If the temperature remains low for a long time (below 38 ° C in adults and children over 6 months), then there is no need to lower the temperature. Fever speaks of the body's fight against infection.
- Aggressive relief from a fever can cause your own defense mechanisms to malfunction. Low body temperature favors the spread of infection, so an increase in temperature is necessary.
- Fever cannot be ignored in people with immunodeficiency, while taking chemotherapy or after surgery.
- Instead of fighting the temperature, it may be necessary to take measures to improve comfort, such as rest, plenty of fluids, and a cool room.
Method 4 of 4: When to see a doctor
Step 1. Fever symptoms
The normal temperature is not always 37.0 ° C. A temperature change of 0.5 ° C - 1 ° C is normal. A slight rise in temperature should not be a cause for concern. Symptoms of moderate fever:
- Discomfort, sensation of heat
- General weakness
- Hot skin
- Depending on the cause of the fever, headaches, muscle aches, decreased appetite, and dehydration can be observed.
Step 2. Call your doctor if the temperature is high
If the patient has a temperature above 39 ° C, it is advisable to be examined by a doctor. A child's body is more sensitive to a rise in temperature than an adult. Call your doctor in the following situations:
- If a child under 3 months has a temperature of 38 ° C
- If the baby has a temperature of 39 ° C at 3-6 months
- If a child is over 6 months old with a temperature of 39 ° C
- If an adult has a temperature of 39 ° C or higher, accompanied by drowsiness or irritability.
Step 3. Call a doctor if the temperature persists for several days
A high temperature that lasts more than 2-3 days is a symptom of a severe course of the disease and requires the attention of a doctor. Do not self-medicate! See your doctor if:
- A fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child under 2 years of age.
- The fever lasts more than 72 hours in a child over 2 years old.
- An elevated temperature lasts longer than 3 days in an adult.
Step 4. Situations when immediate medical attention is required
Call your doctor if the fever is accompanied by symptoms that suggest other problems or have underlying medical conditions. Here are some situations in which you need to seek immediate medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing in the patient
- The appearance of a rash or blemishes on the skin
- Lethargy, weakness, or delirium
- Unusual sensitivity to bright light
- Comorbidities (such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV infection)
- Coming from another country
- Overheating due to being in a hot environment
- Fever accompanied by sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ear pain, rash, headache, blood in stools, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, confusion, neck pain, or pain when urinating
- The temperature has subsided, but the person feels sick
- If the person is unconscious, call an ambulance immediately.
- Always check with your pediatrician before giving medicine to a child under two years of age.
- Read the instructions carefully. Sometimes the recommended dosages are changed, for example, the dosage of paracetamol for children has been reduced (80 mg / 0.8 ml to 160 mg / 5 ml).