Signs of a fever? Five ways to treat the cold and flu symptom - don’t use wet sponges

If a person is considered to have a fever their temperature is above 37.5C - normal body temperature is between 36C and 37C. 

The common causes are colds and flu, infections of the ear, lung, skin, throat, bladder or kidney and gastroenteritis stomach bugs. 

A fever can also be associated with routine vaccinations, as a side effect of drugs and even cancer. 

But what are the best ways to treat one?

According to Boots WebMD there are five ways you can treat a fever: 

  • Fever usually makes a person feel uncomfortable, and steps may be taken to reduce the fever, by taking age-appropriate medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but never aspirin in under-16s

Other homecare treatments for fever include: 

  • Drink plenty of water or other clear fluid. iced drinks or ice lollies may have a soothing effect 
  • Wear lightweight clothing and don’t use blankets and duvets in bed to avoid getting too warm 
  • Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable and let fresh air in 
  • Rest and avoid heavy activity 

The NHS does not recommend use of wet sponges to treat a high temperature or fever, as research shows it doesn’t help reduce fever.

But depending on age, physical condition and the underlying cause of the fever, a person may or may not need to seek medical advice. 

Fever is very common in young children - according to the NHS more than 60 per cent of parents with children aged between six months and five years say their child has had one. 

The health body says: “It’s usually caused by a minor viral infection, such as a cough or cold, and can normally be treated at home. 

“A high temperature can be quite worrying for parents and carers, but most children recover with no problems after a few days.” 

If your child does have a fever, you should: 

  • Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids - offer regular breastfeeds if you’re breastfeeding 
  • Only offer them food if they seem to want it 
  • Look out for signs of dehydration - these can include a dry mouth, no tears, sunken eyes and, in babies, fewer wet nappies 
  • Check on your child from time to time during the night 
  • Keep them away from childcare, nursery or school - let the carer, nursery or school know your child is unwell 
  • Avoid bundling them up in too many clothes or bedclothes 

Fever could be one of the nine tell-tale signs of Aussie flu.



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