If you or someone you’re caring for has a fever, follow these steps:
- Take your temperature and assess your symptoms. If your temperature runs 100.4 F or higher, you have a fever.
- Stay in bed and rest as much as you can.
- Take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen to reduce fever. Note the proper dosage, and do not use then alongside other fever-reducing medications. You should not give aspirin to your baby or child without consulting your doctor.
- Keep hydrated. It is important to replenish fluids lost through sweating. But if keeping liquids down is difficult, suck on ice chips.
- Stay cool. Remove extra layers of clothing and blankets, unless you have chills.
- Take lukewarm baths or use cold compresses to make you more comfortable. Cold baths, ice cube baths, and alcohol baths or rubs can be dangerous and should be avoided.
- If temperature is elevated, fluids are doubly important. Fever medicine should control temperature. Persistent temperature elevation of 103-104 F is a danger sign.
- But no matter what the number on the thermometer reads, if you have any concerns consult your doctor.
If cough is present
Humidification and drinking lots of fluids helps to moisten and loosen up sticky mucus. Non-prescription drugs designed to suppress cough, such as Robitussin, are occasionally helpful. If you use an inhaler, you might need to use it more often.
If throat is sore
Gargle with warm water (half a teaspoon of salt in half a glass of water). Try using cold packs on the outside of your throat to help ease the pain of swallowing. Humidification of the air you breathe (use vaporizer, pans of evaporating water, or steaming tub or shower) and lots of fluids help.
If nausea and/or diarrhea are present
Consume only clear liquids, soups or juices as tolerated. Remember, fluids are important to prevent dehydration.