A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, typically due to a disease. Having a fever is a sign that something uncommon is going on in your body.
What is a Fever and What Causes it?
For an adult, a fever might be uncomfortable, however usually isn’t a cause for issue unless it reaches 103 F (39.4 C) or higher. For babies and young children, a slightly elevated temperature may indicate a serious infection.
Fevers usually go away within a few days. A number of over-the-counter medications lower a fever, but in some cases it’s much better left untreated. Fever seems to play a key function in assisting your body combat a number of infections.
What are Symptoms of a Fever?
You have a fever when your temperature level increases above its regular variety. What’s regular for you might be a little greater or lower than the average normal temperature level of 98.6 F (37 C).
Depending upon what’s causing your fever, additional fever symptoms and signs might include:
High fevers between 103 F (39.4 C) and 106 F (41.1 C) might cause:
When to see a Doctor
Fevers by themselves might not be a cause for alarm– or a need to call a doctor. Yet there are some scenarios when you must look for medical advice for your baby, your child or yourself.
Taking a Temperature
To examine your or your child’s temperature level, you can choose from a number of types of thermometers, consisting of oral, rectal, ear (tympanic) and forehead (temporal artery) thermometers.
Although it’s not the most precise method to take a temperature, you can use an oral thermometer for an armpit (axillary) reading:
- Place the thermometer in the armpit and cross your arms or your child’s arms over the chest.
- Wait four to five minutes. The axillary temperature level is somewhat lower than an oral temperature.
- If you call your doctor, report the actual number on the thermometer and where on the body you took the temperature level.
Use a rectal thermometer for babies:
- Place a dab of petroleum jelly on the bulb.
- Lay your baby on his/her stomach.
- Carefully place the bulb 1/2 to 1 inch into your baby’s anus.
- Hold the bulb and your baby still for 3 minutes.
- Do not release the thermometer while it’s inside your baby. If your baby squirms, the thermometer might go deeper and cause an injury.
What is a Fever in Babies?
An inexplicable fever is greater cause for concern in infants and in children than in adults. Call your baby’s doctor if your child is:
- Below age 3 months and has a rectal temperature level of 100.4 F (38 C) or greater.
- In between ages 3 to 6 months and has a temperature as much as 102 F (38.9 C) and seems uncommonly irritable, sluggish or uncomfortable or has a temperature level higher than 102 F (38.9 C).
- Between ages 6 to 24 months and has a temperature higher than 102 F (38.9 C) that lasts longer than one day however reveals no other symptoms. If your child also has other signs and symptoms, such as a cold, cough or diarrhea, you may call your child’s doctor faster based on seriousness.
- A newborn and has a lower than typical temperature– less than 97 F (36.1 C). Really young babies might not control body temperature well when they’re ill and might end up being cold rather than hot.
When in doubt, go on and call your child’s doctor, whether you think your baby’s temperature level is unusually high or unusually low.
What is a Fever in Child?
There’s probably no cause for alarm if your child has a fever but is responsive– making eye contact with you and reacting to your facial expressions and to your voice– and is consuming fluids and playing.
Call your child’s doctor if your child:
- Is listless or irritable, vomits consistently, has a severe headache or stomachache, or has other symptoms triggering substantial discomfort.
- Has a fever after being left in a hot car. Seek healthcare instantly.
- Has a fever that lasts longer than three days (in children age 2 and older).
- Appears listless and has poor eye contact with you.
Ask your child’s doctor for assistance in unique scenarios, such as a child with body immune system problems or with a pre-existing illness. Your child’s doctor might also advise precautions if your child has simply started taking a new prescription medicine.
What is a Fever in Adults?
Call your doctor if:
- Your temperature is 103 F (39.4 C) or greater.
- You’ve had a fever for more than three days.
In addition, seek immediate medical attention if any of these signs or symptoms accompanies a fever:
- Severe headache.
- Severe throat swelling.
- Unusual skin rash, specifically if the rash rapidly worsens.
- Uncommon sensitivity to intense light.
- Stiff neck and pain when you flex your head forward.
- Psychological confusion.
- Persistent vomiting.
- Trouble breathing or chest pain.
- Severe laziness or irritability.
- Abdominal pain or pain when urinating.
- Muscle weakness or sensory changes, which may indicate a problem with your nerves, spine or brain function (focal neurologic deficit).
- Other inexplicable signs or symptoms.
What are Causes of a Fever?
Fever takes place when an area in your brain called the hypothalamus — likewise known as your body’s “thermostat”– moves the set point of your normal body temperature upward. When this occurs, you might feel chilled and include layers of clothing or involve a blanket, or you might shiver to generate more temperature, ultimately resulting in an elevated body temperature level.
Typical body temperature level varies throughout the day– it’s lower in the early morning and greater in the late afternoon and evening. Although many people consider 98.6 F (37 C) regular, your body temperature level can vary by a degree or more– from about 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C)– and still be thought about regular. Aspects such as your menstrual cycle or heavy workout can impact your temperature.
Fever or elevated body temperature level may be caused by:
- An infection.
- A bacterial infection.
- Heat fatigue.
- Extreme sunburn.
- Specific inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis— inflammation of the lining of your joints (synovium).
- A malignant growth.
- Some medications, such as antibiotics and substance abuse to treat hypertension or seizures.
- Some immunizations, such as the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) or pneumococcal vaccine.
Sometimes the cause of a fever can’t be determined. If you have a temperature level of 101 F (38.3C) or higher for more than 3 weeks and your doctor isn’t really able to discover the cause after extensive evaluation, the diagnosis may be fever of unknown origin.
What are Complications of a Fever?
Complications of a fever may include:
- Severe dehydration.
- Fever-induced seizure (febrile seizure), in a small number of children ages 6 months to 5 years.
Febrile seizures typically include loss of awareness and shaking of limbs on both sides of the body. Although worrying for parents, the huge bulk of febrile seizures cause no lasting impacts.
If a seizure happens:
- Lay your child on his/her side or stomach on the floor or ground.
- Remove any sharp items that are near your child.
- Loosen tight clothes.
- Hold your child to avoid injury.
- Do not place anything in your child’s mouth or attempt to stop the seizure.
Many seizures stop on their own (without treatment, only by the Will of Allah). Take your child to the doctor as quickly as possible after the seizure to determine the cause of the fever.
Require emergency situation medical help if a seizure lasts longer than 10 minutes.
Health Tips And Prevention of a Fever
Wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same, specifically prior to eating, after using the toilet, after spending time in a crowd or around someone who’s ill, after petting animals, and during travel on public transportation.You may have the ability to prevent fevers by minimizing direct exposure to contagious illness. Here are some suggestions that can help:
- Show your children how to clean their hands completely, covering both the front and back of each hand with soap and rinsing entirely under running water.
- Bring moist towelettes or hand sanitizer with you for times when you don’t have access to soap and water.
- Attempt to prevent touching your nose, mouth or eyes, as these are the primary manner ins which viruses and bacteria can enter your body and cause infection.
- Cover your mouth when you cough and your nose when you sneeze, and teach your children to do similarly. Whenever possible, turn away from others when coughing or sneezing to avoid passing germs along to them.
- Prevent sharing cups, water bottles and utensils with your child or children.