Did you know that fever, although classed as an illness, is actually the body's natural response to fighting infection? In general, a person with a fever should not try to lower his body temperature, unless the condition is really excruciating or if his temperature is too high to put his life at risk. Why is that? The answer is simple, because the body actually needs time to raise its temperature to get rid of the cause of infection naturally. However, if you have a fever, you can still do the things listed in this article to make your body feel more comfortable and lower your temperature to a more reasonable level.
Method 1 of 3: Lowering Body Temperature
Step 1. Take body temperature to more accurately record the progression of fever
When you have a fever, using a thermometer can help you get an accurate temperature, and that information will be very important to your doctor when examining your condition. If possible, use a digital oral thermometer that is easy for both children and adults to use, while being able to display accurate results in a short time. To use it, simply place the thermometer under your tongue and let it sit until you hear a "beep". After that, read the numbers listed on the thermometer screen to find out your body temperature. For younger children, use a rectal thermometer for the most accurate results.
- See a doctor if your temperature is 39°C or higher. Meanwhile, children under the age of 2 years should be taken to the doctor if the fever does not subside after 3 days.
- If you have a child who is 3 months old or younger, call your doctor immediately if their temperature exceeds 38°C. For children between 3 and 6 years of age, call their doctor if their body temperature exceeds 39°C or if the fever persists for more than one day.
Step 2. Drink plenty of water
When you have a fever, the combination of sweat and high body temperature can quickly dehydrate your body. As a result, body temperature will also increase and may trigger complications such as headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, and seizures. To overcome this, drink as much fluid as possible until the body feels better.
- Ideally, adults should consume about 2 liters of fluid per day. While any fluids are allowed, you should only consume water, juices and broths when you are sick.
- Need to hydrate kids? Give at least 30 ml of fluids per hour for toddlers, 60 ml of fluids per hour for toddlers, and 90 ml per hour for older children.
- Energy drinks can help hydrate the body. However, to ensure that your body doesn't receive excess electrolyte intake, try diluting one part energy drink with one part water. For children, it's best to drink an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte which is specifically designed for children's bodies.
Step 3. Rest as much as possible
Getting enough rest can help strengthen the immune system and, therefore, be able to recover faster. After all, excessive physical activity can further increase your body temperature. That's why, you should rest the body as often as possible. If possible, take time off work or study leave so that the body can be rested optimally and recover faster.
Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, increase the production of stress hormones, increase the risk of chronic disease, and reduce life expectancy
Step 4. Take over-the-counter fever relievers at pharmacies
If your temperature exceeds 39°C, or if you start to feel very uncomfortable, don't hesitate to take a fever reducer. Some types of drugs intended to treat fever are acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. All of them can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription and can help lower the body temperature that rises from fever.
- Consult the use of acetaminophen for children under 18 years of age, or ibuprofen for children over 6 months of age to the doctor. Make sure you also always follow the recommended dosage and the rules for using the drug listed on the package.
- Children under 18 years of age should not take aspirin, unless otherwise recommended by a doctor. Research shows that aspirin consumption in children is associated with the risk of Rye syndrome, a disease that causes swelling of the brain and liver.
- Follow the dosage recommendations listed on the medicine package, and do not take more than one type of medicine at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Instead, alternate taking different medications, such as one dose of ibuprofen now, then one dose of acetaminophen 4 hours later, if your doctor allows it, of course.
Step 5. Wear light, loose clothing
When you have a fever, one way to make your body feel more comfortable is to wear light, loose-fitting clothing. For example, you can combine a light t-shirt with short sweatpants. At night, just cover the body with a thin blanket when sleeping.
Natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, or silk are generally better breathable than synthetic fibers such as acrylic or polyester
Step 6. Lower the temperature in the room
To keep the body comfortable when you have a fever, make sure the temperature around you is always cool. That's why you may need to lower the temperature on the thermostat slightly, especially since high temperatures can make the fever last longer and trigger the body to sweat more. As a result, the risk of dehydration was lurking again.
- If the temperature in the room feels too hot or stuffy, try turning on a fan.
- Generally, the normal room temperature is in the range of 22°C. That's why, you can set the thermostat at 20 or 21°C.
Step 7. Soak in warm water
Fill a bathtub with water that is slightly warmer than room temperature, but cooler than your body temperature, about 29 to 32°C. After that, sit in the tub, then dip a sponge or towel in the water and pat it all over your body. As the water evaporates, your body temperature will also decrease.
Taking a lukewarm bath will also help make your body feel more comfortable. However, this method is not effective at lowering body temperature because it does not allow water to evaporate from your skin
Step 8. Stay in the room as long as possible
If possible, rest in a place with dry air and a stable temperature. If you absolutely must go outside when it's hot, make sure you always take cover in the shade and limit your activities. If the temperature outside is actually very cold, wear warm clothes so that the body remains comfortable while on the move.
Method 2 of 3: Recognizing Abstinences When Fever
Step 1. Don't wear layers of clothing, even if you feel cold when you have a fever
Sometimes, a fever can make the body feel cold, even shivering. Even if the condition occurs, don't try to warm it up by wearing layers of clothing because doing so can actually increase your body temperature even more!
In fact, the sensation of "coolness" is caused by the difference in temperature between your skin and the air around you. If absolutely necessary, just cover yourself with a very thin blanket
Step 2. Do not shower or bathe in cold water
Even though the body feels hot from a fever, that doesn't mean taking a shower or bath in cold water can lower the temperature! Instead, doing so can actually make the body shiver and the temperature rises even more. In other words, the fever can actually last longer because of it.
Ideally, the water used for bathing or bathing should be slightly warmer than the room temperature at that time
Step 3. Do not rub the skin with alcohol to cool the temperature
Although it feels cool and refreshing, the sensation that is actually temporary can also make the body shiver. As a result, your core body temperature will increase afterwards!
In addition, the skin can also absorb alcohol and experience poisoning because of it. This situation is of course very dangerous and has the potential to lead to coma, especially in toddlers and children
Step 4. Don't smoke when you have a fever
Besides being able to increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory disorders, smoking can also suppress your immune system. As a result, the fever experienced will get worse because the body has to work much harder to fight the viruses and bacteria in it. Quitting smoking is not easy. Therefore, it never hurts to consult a doctor for effective methods or ask a support group for recommendations to help with your recovery process.
Toddlers and children should not be passive smokers, especially if their condition is a fever
Step 5. Don't drink caffeine and alcohol when you have a fever
Remember, both can trigger dehydration and someone who has a fever is very susceptible to losing fluids in his body. Therefore, consuming caffeine and alcohol when you have a fever is a dangerous action. That's why, you should avoid both until your body condition really improves.
Besides being able to increase the risk of dehydration, alcohol can also weaken the immune system. As a result, your body must work harder to recover itself
Method 3 of 3: Performing a Medical Examination
Step 1. Call your doctor immediately if your body temperature is in the range of 39 to 41°C
Remember, a very high fever can put your life in danger! Therefore, if you are an adult who has a fever above 39°C, immediately consult a doctor for a proper prescription or even an inpatient referral.
- For children under 3 months of age, call the doctor immediately whenever they have a fever, regardless of their body temperature. Be careful, a fever in such a child may indicate a serious infection in his body.
- Children aged 3-12 months should be taken to the doctor if their body temperature reaches 39°C or higher, as well as children who are under 2 years old but have a fever for more than 48 hours.
- Children aged 7-12 years should be taken to the Emergency Unit (ER) if their body temperature exceeds 39°C.
In particular, take your child to the ER if he or she is unconscious, difficult to wake up, or has been experiencing fluctuations in body temperature for a week or more, even if the temperature is not very high or the symptoms are inconsistent. Also, take your child to the doctor if symptoms of severe dehydration appear, such as if they cry without shedding tears.
Step 2. Call your doctor immediately if the fever doesn't go away
Although it is the body's natural response to illness, a persistent fever may indicate a more serious health problem. Therefore, if the fever does not subside after a few days, even after you have tried to reduce it by various methods, contact your doctor immediately. Chances are, your doctor will ask you for emergency treatment or prescribe medication to treat it.
If the fever persists for 48 hours, contact your doctor immediately as this may indicate a viral infection in your body
Step 3. Visit the nearest ER if you are dehydrated
High temperatures can make the body lose fluids and become dehydrated. Therefore, if you feel symptoms of dehydration such as dry mouth, drowsiness, too little or dark urine, headache, dry skin, dizziness, or even fainting, contact the nearest emergency room immediately for emergency treatment.
The doctor on duty in the ER may give you an IV to replace lost fluids
Step 4. Check with your doctor if you have a fever when you have other health problems
If you have other diseases such as diabetes, anemia, heart problems, or lung disease, and at the same time have a fever, immediately see a doctor. Be careful, congenital diseases as previously mentioned can be aggravated by fever!
If you are concerned about your health, contact your doctor immediately to get appropriate treatment recommendations
Step 5. See a doctor if a rash or bruising appears on the skin while having a fever
Be careful, the appearance of a rash or bruising of unknown origin when you have a fever may indicate a serious disorder in your immune system.
- If the rash gets worse and spreads to other areas of the skin, contact the nearest emergency room immediately!
- If the painful bruises get bigger or increase in number, go to the hospital immediately because these conditions may indicate a serious health problem.
- Immediately consult a doctor If your body temperature exceeds 40°C!
- Don't take cold showers or baths, as shivering can raise your body temperature.
- Do not take more than one fever-reducing medication at the same time, unless your doctor recommends it differently.
- Don't wear layers of clothing or blankets that are too thick! In fact, this behavior can actually make your fever worse.
- Do not rub the body with alcohol to lower the temperature. Be careful, this action has the risk of causing alcohol poisoning!