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How should you treat a fever?

ANSWER

No treatment is necessary for a mild fever unless the person is uncomfortable. If the fever is 102 or higher:

  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed on the label.
  • Bathing or sponging in lukewarm water may bring the temperature down. Do not use cold water or alcohol.
  • Have the person wear light clothing and use a light cover or sheet. If the person gets chills, use an extra blanket until they go away.
  • Have the person drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Call a doctor if the fever lasts longer than 3 days.

SOURCES:

Merck Manuals: "Fever."

KidsHealth: "Fever and Taking Your Child's Temperature."

MedicineNet: "Aches, Pains, Fever."

American College of Emergency Room Physicians: "Fever."

Cleveland Clinic: "Fever."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Fever."

Fever Information from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 27, 2020

SOURCES:

Merck Manuals: "Fever."

KidsHealth: "Fever and Taking Your Child's Temperature."

MedicineNet: "Aches, Pains, Fever."

American College of Emergency Room Physicians: "Fever."

Cleveland Clinic: "Fever."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Fever."

Fever Information from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 27, 2020

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When is a fever serious?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.