If your fever is mild (less than 101° F), then no medical treatment is required.
Fever is the reaction of your body to fight off bacterial or viral infections. A bacterial infection needs antibiotics whereas a viral one is usually self-limiting i.e., it resolves without treatment.
If your fever is mild (less than 101° F), then no medical treatment is required. However, while the fever takes its course, you can follow certain at-home measures that can help reduce fever or at least make you feel comfortable while you deal with it:
- Hydrate yourself well: Fever can cause fluid loss and dehydration, so drink plenty of water, juices, or broths.
- Try oral rehydration salts: For a child under the age of 1 year, using an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, benefits a lot. These kinds of solutions contain water and salts in the right proportions to replenish the fluids and electrolytes.
- Rest: Resting helps you to recover fast from any kind of fever. Activities can raise your body temperature.
- Take a lukewarm bath: Bathing with water that has been heated to around 98° F may also help bring the body’s temperature down.
- Wear light clothes: Stay cool by dressing in light and breathable clothes.
Which over the counter medications can you take for fever?
If you develop a fever with a temperature of above 101° F, you can take any of them over-the-counter (OTC) medications. They are:
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil/Motrin IB (ibuprofen): Read the label carefully and take the medicine accordingly. These medicines should only be taken when the temperature stays the same despite trying the at-home measures. Do not overdose on any of these medicines because their overdoses are known to cause liver or kidney damage.
- Ibuprofen can be used in children who are 6 months of age and older; however, it should never be given to children who are not drinking enough liquids or suffer from vomiting or diarrhea.
- Aspirin: If fever is accompanied by headache and the common cold, you can take Aspirin. Do not give Aspirin to anyone below 16 years of age because of the risk of a serious complication known as Reye syndrome.
How can you prevent getting a fever?
Following a few hygienic practices can help you ward off various infections and prevent fevers. These include:
- Wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same. Teach them how to rinse with soap and wash hands under running (tap) water.
- Keep a handy hand-sanitizer with you to clean your and your child’s hands when there is no sanitation facility available around.
- Avoid touching your face frequently to avoid the germs entering your body through the nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and turn yourself and your child away from people who are sneezing or coughing.
Which illness is known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection?
When to call the doctor for your child?
Call your child’s doctor, dial 911, or head to the nearest emergency room if your child has a fever and is:
- Vomits repeatedly
- Having a severe headache
- Complaining of severe abdominal pain
- Extremely sleepy (the child is hard to wake up)
- Has poor eye contact with you
When to call the doctor for your fever?
Not all kinds of fever go away by taking measures at home. Some fevers can be a sign of some serious medical condition.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have signs and symptoms that include:
- The temperature of 103° F (39.4° C) or higher
- Fever for more than 3 days
- Severe headache
- Persistent vomiting
- A new, profound sensitivity to bright light
- Stiff neck and pain on bending forward
- A rapidly worsening skin rash
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Mental confusion
- Extreme listlessness or irritability
- Pain while passing urine
- Muscle weakness
Medically Reviewed on 12/27/2020
Sparks D. Home Remedies: Fighting a fever. Mayo Clinic. July 21, 2017. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/home-remedies-fighting-a-fever/
Cleveland Clinic. Fever: Care and Treatment. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10880-fever/care-and-treatment#