Knowing the Right Treatment for a Fever
Your body temperature naturally fluctuates because of factors such as physical activity, medications, and room temperature. In general, a fever in an adult might be defined as a temperature above 99 or 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re taking a child’s rectal temperature, he or she has a fever if it is at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, a fever can be treated at home and does not require emergency care. If you do suspect that a fever indicates a serious medical condition, you can rely on the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Supporting Your Immune System
If you have a mild fever and do not experience additional, serious symptoms, you might consider resting at home. Unless a doctor has instructed you otherwise, you could take an over-the-counter fever reducer such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods when you feel hungry.
Treating a Fever in a Child
Resting and drinking fluids is also important for children with fevers. A pediatrician might recommend giving your child an oral rehydrating solution . If your child is an infant, it’s a good idea to call the doctor even if the fever seems mild and you do not notice any other symptoms. It’s always a good idea to check with a doctor before giving any medications to a child. Generally, pediatricians recommend using acetaminophen formulated for use in a child. Never give a child aspirin; however, ibuprofen is generally acceptable for use in children ages six months and older.
Knowing When a Fever Is an Emergency
A fever by itself is not usually an emergency unless it is a high fever, does not respond to medications, or lasts longer than three days. However, if the fever is accompanied by other symptoms, emergency care may be indicated. These symptoms can include shortness of breath, stiff neck, and severe headache. Children with stomach pain and a fever should see a doctor, along with those who appear atypically lethargic, have problems swallowing, or have a bluish tint to the skin, lips, or nails.
If you think a fever could be a medical emergency, you can seek emergency care at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our community hospital in Las Vegas maintains short ER wait times. For more information about our healthcare services, including stroke care and heart care, call (702) 233-5300 or visit our website.