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First aid: Fever

Everyone would have missed an important event because of a sudden fever at some point. Were you not able to go to the office because of the temperature? Well, it may be tough to deal with. But just with primary first aid, you can take care of low to moderate fever. Here, we will describe some of the most effective first-aid for fever.

Before learning about first aid for fever, try to understand what it is and its symptoms.

What is a fever?


Contrary to widespread belief, fever is not an illness but symbolizes a disorder underlying it. It is a symptom of other diseases or infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or other ailments.

According to science, the average human body temperature should be around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. When an individual has a continuous high temperature beyond this threshold limit, he most likely has a fever.

It often occurs with sore throat, measles, chickenpox, meningitis, etc. Many people may also feel weakness and discomfort.

In most cases, fever is not that dangerous, and one may not need urgent medical care. However, if the person has other health issues, they should immediately consult a physician.

During the change of seasons, you may feel mild fevers, which may not require urgent medical care. However, if medical conditions like heat stroke are already present, the body may be unable to cope with high temperatures, leading to severe complications. This situation requires urgent medical care, and you should seek immediate medical advice.

Threshold limit of fever

The following thermometer readings at different body parts indicate fever:

  • Oral (mouth) temperature of 37.8 C (100 F) or higher
  • Rectal (thermometer placed in the rectum) or ear temperature of 38 C (100.4 F) or higher
  • Armpit (thermometer placed in the armpit) temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) or higher

The following chart can help you to find the intensity of the fever.

  • 6 F-100F- Mild fever
  • 100 F-103F-Fever
  • 103 F and above- High fever

If you have a temperature of 101 F and beyond, you should immediately consult a doctor.


Several conditions can cause an increase in body temperature, resulting in fever. However, the common reasons found in most of the cases are:

  • Viral infections
  • Cold, chickenpox, measles, and mumps
  • lungs, throat, skin, or kidney Infection,
  • Heart diseases
  • Arthritis, or immune system disorders.
  • The side effects of various drugs


Some of the most common symptoms that accompany fever are:

  • Temperature above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Headache
  • Pain in different body parts
  • Hot flashes
  • Shivering
  • Pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Fluctuating pulse and breathing 

First aid for fever

In most cases, fever remains moderate, and you can treat it with first aid. The main aim of first aid is to reduce discomfort in a person. You can follow these first aid methods for a fever initially.

  • Take proper rest and be relaxed. Suppose you have a light to moderate fever; rest by covering your body with a sheet or light quilt. Also, stay in a healthy space with a lot of natural air and proper ventilation. Do not wear warm or woolen clothes, as that will increase the body temperature. Avoid physical activities even if you cannot spend the whole day in bed. Try to sleep 8 to 9 hours per night and take fewer loads during the day.
  • Body sponge. Sponge the body with a cotton cloth soaked in lukewarm water. It will help to reduce the temperature of the body.
  • Continuous monitoring– frequently check pulse and breathing rate. Monitor the response continuously until the time you recover.
  • Water intake. Drink a good amount of water and other fluids to compensate for fluid loss due to sweating.
  • Primary medications: Provide the prescribed dose of Paracetamol to the patient. However, consult with a medical practitioner for the proper dosage.
  • Temperature monitoring– In children, if the temperature exceeds 102 degrees Fahrenheit and is accompanied by lethargy and breathing problems, you should seek medical advice immediately.

When to get medical attention in case of fever

You should seek immediate medical aid when you have  symptoms like:

  1. Severe headache and body aches
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Stiff neck
  4. Vomiting and Diarrhea
  5. Lack of sweating
  6. Continuous high temperature.
  7. Difficulty in breathing

Precaution is better than cure.

Do you experience a fever too often? Some tips which can help you to avoid it are:

  1. Don’t get exposed to hot temperatures too often. Wear an umbrella or a cap while you are out during the summer.
  2. Once you return from outside, wash your hands and legs properly. Remember, fever is a symptom only, and it is mainly caused by viruses and bacteria.
  3. Try to eat nutritious food, as that can boost your immunity. Avoid junk or roadside foods as they may cause infections, resulting in fever. Remember, a healthy diet always helps you to fight disease.
  4. Take a while before consuming cold water after prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
  5. Indulge in light to moderate physical exercise daily. It will give your body more power to fight the disease.
  1. Mayo clinic 
     health information 
  2. St John Ambulance 


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