Fever occurs due to the body’s natural response to an infection or inflammation. In fact, it is a sign that the immune system is fighting hard to eliminate the pathogen from the body and beat the infection. The normal body temperature is 37 degree Celsius or 98.6 degree Fahrenheit and anything above that is considered as fever.
If you are down with fever and are wondering what to do to lower your body temperature, here is a list of few do’s and don’ts to follow.
What to DO
When a person has a fever then do:
1. Cold sponging or tepid water sponging. Dip a cloth or sponge in a bowl of cold water or lukewarm water, squeeze it gently to remove excess water and place it on the forehead. Do this at regular intervals as water can help to bring down the body temperature.
2. Take shower with normal or cold water as it helps in lowering the temperature and relieve fever.
3. Check the temperature with the help of a thermometer and try not to guess by just placing your hand over the head or neck to check fever.
4. Stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids if you have poor appetite due to the infection and could get dehydrated easily. Stay at home and take sufficient rest.
5. Remove excess clothing and wear light, loose cotton clothes as excess clothing can further increase the body temperature.
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What NOT to do
If a person has fever, then do not:
1. Bundle up or cover up with a blanket. It will not bring down the fever but instead might raise the body temperature. However, this doesn’t apply in case of cold or shivering.
2. Starve as it will leave a person with no energy to fight off the infections and make the person feel weak.
3. Always pop an antibiotic as it might not work every time. Antibiotics only work if the infection is caused by a bacteria and not by a virus.
4. Self-medicate because you may not need medicines to bring down a fever. However, consult a doctor if you have a high fever (above 102 degree Fahrenheit) or you feel too weak.
5. Perform strenuous activities as putting excessive pressure on the body can further worsen the condition and lead to soreness.
When to go to a doctor?
You should consult a doctor if you have a fever that:
-Doesn’t get better even after two-three days.
-Keeps coming back after a few days.
-Rises above 104 degree F.
-Is accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, headache, rash, abdominal pain, breathing difficulty and seizures.
Hence, it is not always advised to pop a pill if you have a slight increase in the body temperature. Instead, take rest and allow the body to fight infection. However, if you have very high fever (above 102 degree F) or if you have a frequent fever then do consult your doctor.