You know the number. It’s 98.6 degrees. Growing up, you thought of it as the perfect body temperature. But in reality, average body temperature varies from person to person and can be slightly above or below this number. When your temperature is higher (or even lower) than what you recognize as your normal body temperature, that is when you might have a fever. Although you may have an elevated body temperature, you’re not considered to have a significant fever until your temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. A fever is a sign your body is working hard to fight off another illness, usually an infection.
Depending on what’s causing your fever, you may have some additional fever signs and symptoms, like sweating, chills, shivering, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, dehydration, and a feeling of weakness throughout the body. Remember, in pre-verbal children, they may only be more irritable, or not eating, so it is important to always check your child’s temperature when these signs are present.
A fever generally occurs along with a preliminary illness or infection, such as a cold or flu. Bacterial infections, such as food poisoning and middle ear infections will likely bring on a fever. Certain medications can also raise your body temperature, though your clinician should always advise you of this as a possible side effect when prescribing. In some cases, a child could experience a mild fever in response to vaccination. If the fever continues to rise, seek medical help immediately. Also, seek immediate medical attention if you experience a severe sunburn accompanied by a fever.
The best way to prevent a fever is to avoid getting sick in the first place. Take the same precautionary steps that you would avoid a cold or flu. Make sure to frequently wash your hands, avoid touching your face as much as possible. When you need to sneeze or cough, aim into your upper sleeve.
Since a fever is a symptom of another illness, take the necessary steps to address the underlying illness. The two keys to breaking a fever are rest and hydration. Stay home, watch your favorite TV show, and drink as many fluids as possible. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can also help lower a fever in the short-term.
After a couple of days of rest if you’re still not feeling better, stop by your local vybe to be seen.