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How Can I Reduce Fever at Home?

Reviewed on 12/27/2020

Fever
If your fever is mild (less than 101° F), then no medical treatment is required.

Fever is the reaction of your body to fight off bacterial or viral infections. A bacterial infection needs antibiotics whereas a viral one is usually self-limiting i.e., it resolves without treatment.

If your fever is mild (less than 101° F), then no medical treatment is required. However, while the fever takes its course, you can follow certain at-home measures that can help reduce fever or at least make you feel comfortable while you deal with it:

  • Hydrate yourself well: Fever can cause fluid loss and dehydration, so drink plenty of water, juices, or broths.
  • Try oral rehydration salts: For a child under the age of 1 year, using an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, benefits a lot. These kinds of solutions contain water and salts in the right proportions to replenish the fluids and electrolytes
  • Rest: Resting helps you to recover fast from any kind of fever. Activities can raise your body temperature.
  • Take a lukewarm bath: Bathing with water that has been heated to around 98° F may also help bring the body's temperature down.
  • Wear light clothes: Stay cool by dressing in light and breathable clothes.

Which over the counter medications can you take for fever?

If you develop a fever with a temperature of above 101° F, you can take any of them over-the-counter (OTC) medications. They are:

  • Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil/Motrin IB (ibuprofen): Read the label carefully and take the medicine accordingly. These medicines should only be taken when the temperature stays the same despite trying the at-home measures. Do not overdose on any of these medicines because their overdoses are known to cause liver or kidney damage.
  • Ibuprofen can be used in children who are 6 months of age and older; however, it should never be given to children who are not drinking enough liquids or suffer from vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Aspirin: If fever is accompanied by headache and the common cold, you can take Aspirin. Do not give Aspirin to anyone below 16 years of age because of the risk of a serious complication known as Reye syndrome.

How can you prevent getting a fever?

Following a few hygienic practices can help you ward off various infections and prevent fevers. These include:

  • Wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same. Teach them how to rinse with soap and wash hands under running (tap) water.
  • Keep a handy hand-sanitizer with you to clean your and your child’s hands when there is no sanitation facility available around.
  • Avoid touching your face frequently to avoid the germs entering your body through the nose, mouth, or eyes.
  • Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and turn yourself and your child away from people who are sneezing or coughing.

SLIDESHOW

A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference See Slideshow

When to call the doctor for your child?

Call your child's doctor, dial 911, or head to the nearest emergency room if your child has a fever and is:

  • Irritable
  • Vomits repeatedly
  • Having a severe headache
  • Complaining of severe abdominal pain
  • Sluggish
  • Extremely sleepy (the child is hard to wake up)
  • Listless
  • Has poor eye contact with you

When to call the doctor for your fever?

Not all kinds of fever go away by taking measures at home. Some fevers can be a sign of some serious medical condition.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have signs and symptoms that include:

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References
Sparks D. Home Remedies: Fighting a fever. Mayo Clinic. July 21, 2017. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/home-remedies-fighting-a-fever/

Cleveland Clinic. Fever: Care and Treatment. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10880-fever/care-and-treatment#

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