what is a fever?

Normal Body temprature

Overview: Fever

Fever is the brief increase in body temperature that is usually related to the onset of an illness. The presence of a fever is an indication that something out normal is happening within your body.

A mature adult’s fever could be uncomfortable but it’s usually not a reason to be concerned in the event that it’s an elevation of 103 F (39.4 C) or more. For toddlers and infants, an elevated temperature could be a sign of a serious illness.

The majority of cases go away in some days. Many over-the-counter medicines reduce fevers, but often it’s best to leave it untreated. Fever is believed to play an important part in helping your body fight off the effects of a variety of illnesses.




If you have a fever, your temperature is above its normal range. The normal temperature for you could be slightly more or less than the normal range that is 98.6 F (37 C).

If you’re unsure of what’s causing your fever, other symptoms could be:

  • Sweating
  • Shivering and chills
  • Headache
  • Muscles hurt
  • Appetite loss
  • Irritability
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness

Children aged between 6 months to 5 years may suffer from febrile seizures. Around a third of children who experience one febrile seizure are likely to have another one in the next 12 months.

Aiming to take temperatures

For taking a temperature you have the option of selecting from various kinds of thermometers, such as oral rectal and the ear (tympanic) as well as forehead (temporal artery) thermometers.

Rectal and oral thermometers typically offer the most precise measurement of the body’s core temperature. Thermometers for the forehead or ear while convenient, offer less precise temperature measurements.

For infants, doctors typically advise taking a temperature using a rectal thermometer.

If you are reporting the temperature to you or the doctor of your child, explain the result and explain why the temperature was determined.

When should you see a doctor?

A few minor shivers might not warrant alarm or even a reason to contact a doctor. There are certain circumstances that warrant the advice of a doctor for an infant either your child or you.


A fever that is not explained is a greater reason to be concerned for infants and children than adults. Consult your baby’s physician when your child:

  • Aged younger than 3 months old, and with a rectal temperature that is 100.4 F (38 C) or greater.
  • Between the ages of 3 and 6 months. can have a rectal temperature of up to 102 F (38.9 C) and is unusually angry, lethargic, or uncomfortable. the temperature that is higher than 102 F (38.9 C).
  • Between the ages of 6 to 24 months old and is a rectal temperature greater than 100 F (38.9 C) that persists for more than a day, but does not show any other signs or symptoms. If your child is also suffering from other symptoms or signs such as cough, cold, or diarrhea, it is possible to contact your child’s physician earlier in accordance with the how severe.


There’s likely no reason to be concerned if your kid suffers from an illness but is still responsive by making an eye connection with you, and responding to facial expressions and your voice. They drink fluids and are playing.

Consult your child’s physician If your child

  • Are irritable or listless is frequently vomiting, has severe stomach pain or headache or other symptoms that can cause severe discomfort.
  • A fever has developed after having been left inside a warm vehicle. Take immediate medical attention.
  • A fever that lasts more than 3 days.
  • It appears sluggish and has no vision.

Consult your child’s physician for advice in certain situations, like children suffering from immune system issues or with an existing illness.


Consult your doctor if your temperature exceeds 103 F (39.4 C). Get medical attention immediately when any of these symptoms or signs are present in conjunction with an increase in temperature:

  • Headache severe
  • A skin rash that is unusual, particularly when the rash quickly gets worse
  • A strange sensitive to bright light
  • Stiff neck and discomfort when you lean forward with your head.
  • Mental confusion
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Chest pain or breathing difficulty
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen when you urinate
  • Convulsions or seizures


Fever occurs when an area in your brain called the hypothalamus (hi-Poe-THAL-uh-muhs) — also known as your body’s “thermostat” — shifts the set point of your normal body temperature upward. If this occurs you might experience chills and may decide to layer on layers of clothes or wrap yourself in a blanket. Or you might shiver in order to generate additional body heat, ultimately creating an elevated body temperature.

Normal body temperature fluctuates throughout the day. It’s more chilly in the early morning, and more intense in the evening and afternoon. While the majority of people consider 98.6 F (37 C) normal, however, your body’s temperature could change by a greater or less — ranging from approximately the 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C) -yet still, be classified as normal.

A fever or an increase in body temperature could be the result of:

  • A virus
  • A bacteria-related infection
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Certain conditions that cause inflammation, like rheumatoid arthritis inflammation of the joint’s lining (synovium)
  • A malignant tumor
  • Certain medicines, such as antibiotics, and medications used to treat seizures or high blood pressure
  • Certain immunizations, like diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP), and pneumococcal vaccine

Sometimes the root of the fever isn’t known. If you’ve been suffering from a fever that lasts more than 3 weeks, but your physician can’t pinpoint the reason for it after a thorough examination it could be a fever with no cause.


Children aged between 6 months to 5 years can experience fever-induced seizures (febrile seizures) that typically result in the loss of consciousness as well as shaking of the limbs on each side of your body. While they can be alarming for parents the most febrile seizure have little or no effect.

If a seizure is experienced:

  • Place your child on their side or belly on the ground or floor.
  • Get rid of any sharp objects close to your child
  • Untight clothing that is loose
  • Keep your child in place to avoid injury
  • Avoid putting anything into your child’s mouth. Alternatively, try to stop seizures

Most seizures go away at their own pace. Bring your infant to the physician as fast as you can following the seizure to determine the root for the fever.

Contact emergency medical help If a seizure continues for more than 5 minutes.


It’s possible that you can reduce the risk of developing fever by limiting exposure to infectious illnesses. Here are some guidelines that may assist:

  • Clean your hands frequently and instruct your children to take the same precautions, especially prior to eating, following use of the bathroom or after being in a crowd or with those who are sick, after touching animals, or while traveling by public transportation.
  • Teach your children to thoroughly wash their hands and thoroughly, cover both the back and front hands of both with soap, and rinse thoroughly underwater.
  • Keep hand sanitizer on hand to use in situations where you don’t have access to soap or water.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, your nose, or eyes. These are the most common ways bacteria and viruses could enter your body and cause infections.
  • Make sure to cover your mouth whenever you cough, and the nose when you sneeze, and then teach your children to do the same. If you can, stay away from other people when you are either sneezing or coughing, to prevent spreading germs to them.
  • Do not share cups or water bottles, as well as utensils with your child.


To evaluate a fever, your doctor may:

  • Ask questions regarding your symptoms as well as your medical background
  • Do a physical examination
  • Take tests, for example, blood tests or an X-ray, when necessary, based upon the medical information you have and your physical examination

Since a fever could signal a serious illness for an infant, particularly those who are younger than 28 days Your baby may be admitted to a hospital for treatment and testing.


For mild fever, your doctor might not suggest treatment to reduce the body temperature. The minor fevers could aid in reducing the number of microbes responsible for your illness.

Medicines that are available over-the-counter

In the event of an extreme fever or a fever that’s making you uncomfortable, your physician might recommend an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol or other) as well as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB other).

Follow the directions on the label or as advised by your physician. Be cautious not to take excessive amounts. Long-term use or high doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen can cause kidney or liver damage. In addition, acute overdoses may cause death. If your child’s fever continues to be high after taking a dose, don’t continue to administer the medication consult your physician instead.

Do not give aspirin to children as it could cause a rare, yet potentially fatal disorder called Reye’s Syndrome.

Prescription medication

According to the cause of your fever, your physician might prescribe an antibiotic particularly if he suspects that you are suffering from a bacterial illness, like Strep throat or pneumonia.

The use of antibiotics isn’t to combat viral infections, but there are several antiviral medicines that are used to combat certain viral diseases. The best remedy for minor ailments that are caused by viruses is usually adequate fluids and rest.

The treatment of infants

For babies, especially ones who are younger than 28 days old Your baby may have to be admitted to the hospital for tests and treatment. When a baby is this young, a fever may be a sign of a serious illness that requires intravenous (IV) medication and continuous surveillance.

Lifestyle and home remedies for home

Try a range of ways to make yourself or your child feel more at ease when you have the course of a fever

  • Take plenty of water. In the case of fever, it can lead to loss of fluids and dehydration, therefore drink fluids, juices, or broth. For children who are younger than 1 use an oral rehydration product like Pedialyte. The solutions are made up of salts and water that are proportioned to replenish electrolytes and fluids. Ice pops with Pedialyte are also available.
  • Rest. Rest is essential to healing and exercise can increase the temperature of your body.
  • Keep cool. Wear light clothes and keep the temperature cool and lie down using only a sheet or lightweight blanket.

You are preparing for your appointment

The appointment could take place with your local family physician or a general practitioner, or a pediatrician. Here’s some advice to help you prepare for your appointment, and to know what you can expect from the doctor.

What you can do

  • Make sure you are aware of appointment limitations. When you’re making the appointment, make sure you ask what you’ll need to know prior to the appointment.
  • Record the details of the fever, like when it first started, what it was, and where you took measurements (orally or rectally, as an instance) as well as any other symptoms. Make note of whether you or your child was in the vicinity of anyone who’s been sick.
  • Note important personal details which could include exposure to anyone suffering from illness or recently traveled out within the US.
  • Create a list of all the medicines, vitamins, and supplements that you, your child are taking.
  • Write down your questions to ask your doctor.

For fevers, some of the basic questions you can ask your physician include:

  • What could be causing the illness?
  • Could something else be the cause?
  • What kind of tests are required?
  • What treatment method do you suggest? Are there alternatives?
  • Do you think that medicine is necessary to lower the fever? What are the possible side consequences of such medicines?
  • Are there any rules that I must adhere to?
  • Do you know of a generic alternative to the medication you’re prescribing?
  • Is there any print material I can bring with me? Which websites would you recommend?

Do not be afraid to ask any other questions throughout your appointment if they arise to you.

What should you expect from your doctor?

Be prepared to answer any questions that your doctor might ask, such as:

  • When did the first symptoms begin to appear?
  • Which method were you able to utilize to determine your child’s temperature?
  • Was the temp of your air that was around your child or you?
  • Do you know if you have ever taken any medication to lower fever?
  • What other signs are parents or children experiencing? What is the severity of these symptoms?
  • Are you, or does your child suffer from any health issues that are chronic?
  • What are the medications you and your child typically take?
  • Do you know if your kid or yourself has ever been in the vicinity of anyone who’s sick?
  • Is either of you had recent surgery?
  • Is either of you recently traveled out of the country?
  • What does it take, if anything, to be able to alleviate symptoms?
  • What does it do to aggravate the symptoms?




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