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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Meningitis - Home Treatment

Home treatment usually is all that is needed for most people who have viral meningitis. It includes:

  • Resting. Rest promotes healing and provides relief from symptoms such as headache. Quiet activities, such as reading books, playing board games, watching videos, or listening to music, help pass the time.
  • Reducing fever. Cool washcloths to the forehead, cool baths, and medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can be used to reduce fever, if needed.
  • Relieving headaches and muscle aches. Minor pain usually can be relieved with medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
  • Preventing dehydration. Drink liquids such as water, juices, teas, and rehydration drinks to keep from getting dehydrated. Children may enjoy frozen juice bars or snow cones. If a person vomits, he or she needs to avoid solid food and take frequent small sips of water or other liquids.
  • Watching for signs of complications during illness. The most common complications include fever lasting for longer than expected and seizures. Some people with complications during illness may need to be treated in a hospital.

When you or your child is recovering at home, watch for signs of long-term complications of meningitis, such as hearing loss.

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Meningitis Symptoms Warning Signs

It's not easy to spot the symptoms of meningitis. People often confuse the early signs and symptoms of meningitis with the flu. In fact, meningitis may come on the heels of a flu-like illness or infection. That's why it's important to stay alert, learn the hallmark signs and symptoms of meningitis, and act quickly. It may help save a life.

Read the Meningitis Symptoms Warning Signs article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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