It's easy to become dehydrated when you have a fever.
In the early stages, you may be able to correct mild to moderate dehydration with home treatment measures. It is important to control fluid losses and replace lost fluids.
Adults and children age 12 and older
If you become mildly to moderately dehydrated while working outside or exercising:
- Stop your activity and rest.
- Get out of direct sunlight and lie down in a cool spot, such as in the shade or an air-conditioned area.
- Prop up your feet.
- Take off any extra clothes.
- Drink a rehydration drink, water, juice, or sports drink to replace fluids and minerals. Drink 2 qt (2 L) of cool liquids over the next 2 to 4 hours. You should drink at least 10 glasses of liquid a day to replace lost fluids. You can make an inexpensive rehydration drink at home. But do not give this homemade drink to children younger than 12. Measure all ingredients precisely. Small variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful. Mix the following:
- 1 quart (1 L) purified water
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
- 6 teaspoons (30 mL) sugar
Rest and take it easy for 24 hours, and continue to drink a lot of fluids. Although you will probably start feeling better within just a few hours, it may take as long as a day and a half to completely replace the fluid that you lost.
Many people find that taking a lukewarm [80°F (27°C) to 90°F (32°C)] shower or bath makes them feel better when they have a fever. Do not try to take a shower if you are dizzy or unsteady on your feet. Increase the water temperature if you start to shiver. Shivering is a sign that your body is trying to raise its temperature. Do not use rubbing alcohol, ice, or cold water to cool your body.
Dress lightly when you have a fever. This will help your body cool down. Wear light pajamas or a light undershirt. Do not wear very warm clothing or use heavy bed covers. Keep room temperature at 70°F (21°C) or lower.
If you are not able to measure your temperature, you need to look for other symptoms of illness every hour while you have a fever and follow home treatment measures.
|Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
Be sure to check your temperature every 2 to 4 hours to make sure home treatment is working.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Level of consciousness changes.
- You have signs of dehydration and you are unable to drink enough to replace lost fluids. Signs of dehydration include being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
- Other symptoms develop, such as pain in one area of the body, shortness of breath, or urinary symptoms.
- Symptoms become more severe or frequent.