Fever: First aid – Mayo Clinic

Fever is an increase in body temperature. it is usually a sign of infection. the fever itself is generally harmless and probably helpful. fevers usually do not need treatment.

The average body temperature is 37°C (98.6°F). But normal body temperature can range from 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C) or higher. your body temperature can vary depending on how active you are or the time of day. In general, older people have lower body temperatures than younger people.

The following thermometer readings generally indicate a fever:

  • rectal, ear, or temporal artery temperature of 100.4 (38°C) or higher
  • oral temperature of 100°f (37.8°c) or higher
  • armpit temperature of 37.2°C (99°F) or higher
  • Should I treat the fever?

    When you or your child are sick, the main goal is to relieve discomfort and promote rest. treatment of fever does not especially shorten or prolong the course of an illness.

    treatment of fever in a child

    Children with relatively high fevers may not look or act particularly sick. treatment of fever depends on the degree of discomfort. If your child is uncomfortable or restless, these home care strategies may help:

    • encourage your child to drink fluids
    • dress your child in light clothing.
    • Use a light blanket if your child feels cold, until the chills pass.
    • do not give aspirin to children or adolescents.
    • Do not give a baby any type of pain reliever until you have contacted a doctor and your child has been evaluated.
    • If your child is 6 months or older, give acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). read the label carefully for the proper dose.
    • when to seek medical advice for a child

      If your baby is less than 3 months old and has a fever, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

      Seek medical attention if a child of any age shows any of the following:

      • irritability or abnormal behavior, which does not improve even after taking fever-reducing medicine
      • signs and symptoms of dehydration, such as not having wet diapers for eight to 10 hours, crying without tears, having a dry mouth, or refusing to drink fluids
      • stiff neck or headache
      • abdominal pain
      • difficulty breathing
      • rash
      • joint pain or swelling
      • also get medical help if the fever lasts more than five days in a row.

        treatment of fever in an adult

        Adults with a fever of 103 f (39.4 c) or higher will usually look and act sick. The main goal of treatment is to relieve discomfort and help you rest.

        To treat fever at home:

        • drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
        • Wear light clothing.
        • use a light blanket if you feel cold, until the chills go away.
        • take acetaminophen (tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (advil, motrin ib, others). follow the directions on the label.
        • when to seek medical advice for an adult

          Seek medical attention if someone with a fever has any of the following signs and symptoms:

          • difficulty breathing
          • chest pain
          • severe headache
          • confusion or agitation
          • abdominal pain
          • repeated vomiting
          • dry mouth, decreased or dark urine, or refusal to drink fluids, which may indicate dehydration
          • skin rashes
          • difficulty swallowing liquids
          • painful urination or pain in the back
          • when to seek emergency care

            Seek emergency medical attention if your child has a fever after being in a hot car or involved in another potentially dangerous situation and shows any of these warning signs:

            • fever without sweating
            • severe headache
            • seizures
            • stiff neck
            • confusion
            • repeated vomiting or diarrhea
            • irritability or significant discomfort
            • any concerning, different or unusual symptoms
            • how to take temperature

              Always use a digital thermometer to measure someone’s temperature. several types are available:

              • rectal thermometers are used in the rectum.
              • Oral thermometers are worn in the mouth.
              • Temporal artery thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
              • armpit (axillary) and ear (tympanic membrane) thermometers, which are less accurate.
              • Due to the potential for mercury exposure or ingestion, glass mercury thermometers have been phased out and are no longer recommended.

                No matter what type of thermometer you use, take these precautions when using it:

                • Read the instructions that come with the thermometer.
                • clean the thermometer before and after each use with alcohol or soap and warm water.
                • Do not use the same thermometer for oral and rectal temperatures. get two and label which one is used where.
                • never leave a child unattended while you take their temperature.
                • rectal temperature (for babies)

                  • turn on the digital thermometer and apply petroleum jelly or other lubricant to the tip of the thermometer.
                  • lay the child on their stomach or side, with knees bent.
                  • carefully insert the tip 1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 centimeters) into the rectum.
                  • keep the thermometer and the child still until the beep of the thermometer indicates that it is ready. To avoid injury, do not let go of the thermometer while it is inside the child.
                  • remove the thermometer and read the number.
                  • oral temperature

                    • turn on the digital thermometer. place the tip of the thermometer under the tongue.
                    • close your mouth around the thermometer for the recommended time or until the thermometer beeps to indicate it is ready.
                    • remove the thermometer and read the number.
                    • temperature of the temporal artery

                      • turn on the digital thermometer. Gently wipe it across your forehead and read the number.
                      • axillary temperature

                        • turn on the digital thermometer. place the thermometer under your armpit, making sure it touches your skin, not your clothing.
                        • hold the thermometer firmly in place until you hear the thermometer beep indicating it is ready.
                        • remove the thermometer and read the number.
                        • ear temperature

                          • turn on the digital thermometer. gently place it into the ear canal no further than indicated in the instructions that come with the device.
                          • hold the thermometer firmly in place until you hear the thermometer beep indicating it is ready.
                          • remove the thermometer and read the number.
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