Facts About Fever
Fever… a seemingly simple topic but one that still causes confusion as to what’s normal, how to treat it and when to seek medical attention. Learn when it’s OK to treat a fever at home and when you need the help of a medical professional.
The average body temperature is 98.6°F, however a normal temperature ranges between 97.5°F and 99.5°F. A fever is typically categorized as anything 100.4°F or more.
A low-grade fever by itself isn’t typically something to worry about. It’s actually a good sign that your immune system is working to fight off a virus or bacterial infection. Medical attention for a fever, either from your doctor or an urgent care provider, is recommended when it’s accompanied by other worrisome symptoms or is 103°F or higher and won’t go down.
A low-grade body temperature usually doesn’t require medication unless it’s causing you discomfort. In that case, you can take either ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve fever-related aches and pains. Follow correct dosage instructions, and if you have questions, please consult a healthcare provider. You can also help reduce a fever by resting, staying hydrated or taking a slightly cool bath.
Fever in Children
When an infant or small child spikes a fever, it can understandably send parents into a panic, possibly even resulting in an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. That’s why it’s important to know when to worry and when to treat it at home.
If your infant is 3 months old or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F or more, you should speak with a doctor. If your baby is 6 months to 24 months and has a fever of 102°F or more that lasts longer than a day—even if he or she has no other symptoms of an illness—you should contact your baby’s pediatrician.
Other reasons to seek medical attention for children with fever include:
- A fever that’s lasted longer than three days
- A lack of energy
- A severe stomachache or headache, or your child is persistently throwing up
- Extreme irritability
- Poor eye contact
- Reduced urine output
Fever in Adults
Fever in adults isn’t as worrisome as it is in children, unless it lasts more than three days or is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Bright light sensitivity
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain when urinating
- Seizures or convulsions
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck pain
- Unusual skin changes, particularly a rash that quickly gets worse
While these are the basic guidelines for fever, if you have any questions or concerns, it’s important to contact a medical professional. The experts at River’s Edge Express Clinic can provide walk-in fever care for anyone in your family ages 18 months and older.
River’s Edge Express Clinic offers walk-in care Monday–Friday from 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. We accept most major health insurance plans, as well as cash and credit cards. Call 507-353-2997 to learn more.
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