Let’s face it, it’s the holidays and the last thing you need is a fever! Fevers are a normal part of the body’s defense system and can be caused by infections, viruses, and other illnesses. It is important to identify how high your fever is before attempting to break it in order to prevent any serious health complications. If you are wondering; how to break a fever, find out some ways you can avoid urgent care or hospital during the busiest time of the year.
How to tell if you have a fever
Fever is an elevation in body temperature that is usually caused by an infection. A healthy body temperature typically ranges between 97.5 and 98.9 degrees Fahrenheit, but when it rises to 100.4 or higher, you could have a fever. Other signs of a fever include feeling cold followed by intense shivering, headache, muscle aches, chills, and general feelings of malaise.
Can you force a fever to break?
Breaking a fever requires reducing the body temperature to normal levels. There are several options and techniques you can use from home, but some may be more successful than others depending on how high your fever is. Additionally, there are many tips and things to try and reduce fever but in general, it cannot always be forced.
How to Break a Fever ASAP: 8 Tips, According to Doctors
1. Drink plenty of fluids
Hydration is key in breaking a fever as it helps to cool off the body from within and also prevents dehydration. Avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol as these can actually worsen your symptoms.
2. Take a lukewarm bath or shower
Taking a lukewarm bath or shower helps to bring the body’s temperature back to normal by increasing circulation and allowing sweat and heat to evaporate.
3. Use damp cloths on your forehead, neck, feet, and hands
Applying cool or lukewarm damp cloths to your forehead, neck, feet, and hands can help reduce fever as these are areas of the body where a lot of heat is released.
4. Dress lightly and keep cool
It is important to dress lightly when you have a fever, as too many clothes can cause the body to overheat. Additionally, reduce activity levels and stay in a cooler environment to encourage the body’s temperature to drop.
5. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both safe and helpful in bringing down a fever. Always consult with your doctor before taking medication, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
6. Use a fan to cool off
Using a fan is an effective way to cool the body down by increasing air circulation.
7. Increase indoor humidity
If your home or room is too dry, you can use a humidifier or vaporizer to increase the amount of moisture in the air. This will help your body stay cool while sleeping and reduce fever pain.
8. Place a cold compress on your head
Applying a cold compress to your forehead can help reduce fever symptoms. You can use a cold cloth, an ice pack, or even a bag of frozen vegetables to cool down the body temperature.
Medications for adults with a fever:
Adults with a fever should take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the temperature. Ibuprofen can be taken every 4-6 hours, up to three times per day, and should not exceed 1,200 mg/day. Acetaminophen can be taken according to package instructions, but typically no more than four times per day and should not exceed 3,000 mg/day.
Medications for kids with a fever:
Children should not take ibuprofen or acetaminophen unless prescribed by a doctor and should follow their instructions carefully. For children 2 years of age or younger, consult a doctor before administering any medications to reduce fever.
When Should You Visit Urgent Care about your fever?
Though there are many techniques you can use to break a fever at home, it’s important to know when you should seek professional help. It is advised to visit a stand-alone urgent care if your fever is 103 °F or higher, lasts more than 48 hours, if there are other signs of infection such as a rash or shortness of breath, or if the fever is causing severe pain and discomfort. At University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, we provide low wait times, and affordable health care for you and your family this holiday season.