High temperature or fever is a symptom that the body is fighting off an infection, and is easily checked with a medical thermometer.
You can reduce the temperature by using medicines in the Pain Relief Medicines For Adults section or the Pain & Temperature Relief For Children section, containing paracetamol or ibuprofen, or using aspirin for adults.
High temperature and fever can be treated with medicines containing paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin (Adults and children over 16 years).
A high temperature or fever is one of the effects of infection on the body.
We all get this from time to time, and it should be watched carefully, especially in children. It is very important to treat it properly, and know when it is time to see your doctor for help.
What is a high temperature?
- 37ºC (98.6ºF) is normal body temperature
- 38ºC (100.4ºF) or over is regarded as a high temperature
Children under 3 months old with a temperature of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above should be referred to a doctor, as should children 3-6 months with a temperature of 39ºC (102.2ºF) or above, as young children are particularly vulnerable to feverish illnesses.
How to take a temperature.
It is important that if you take a temperature, that you do it the right way. It is not always necessary to take someone’s temperature, but it will tell you a lot more about how ill someone is, rather than just feeling how hot they are. Our medical thermometers are safer than glass ones to use.
Different thermometers are suitable for different ages:
- Children under 4 weeks old can use an electronic thermometer under the arm
- Children 4 weeks to 5 years can use an electronic thermometer used under the arm or an infrared ear thermometer
- Children over 5 and adults can use an electronic thermometer used under the tongue or an infrared ear thermometer
A forehead thermometer can be used at any age but is not as accurate.
There are three things you can, and should do to calm-down a high temperature:-
Do the simple things first. Drink plenty and keep cool –
- Drink plenty of liquids (not alcohol). This is very important because when we have a high temperature there is more water lost as sweat, which must be replaced by drinking more. It is especially important not to become dehydrated.
- Dress lightly. It is important to allow the body to loose this extra heat, and you will interfere with that if you wrap up too much. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, without being too hot. Have some ventilation in the room, so it is not stuffy.
- Keep children calm. If they are bouncing around they will only warm up more. Keep them quiet. This also applies to adults and exercise.
- Use cooling products such as Children’s Kool ‘n’ Soothe on the forehead.
Use medicines properly –
- Medicines to reduce temperature are important. Use the right medicine, at the right dose, and repeat the dose in the right way.
- Use your favourite brand correctly. Paracetamol is normally the first choice, but aspirin and ibuprofen can be used according to the directions, and are equally effective.
- Dangers of overdose. Too much of any medicine is dangerous, but this is especially important for paracetamol. The main thing to watch is that you remember, or write down the number of doses you take over 24 hours, and do not take more than the recommended dose. Also be very careful not to give two medicines together which both contain the same ingredient. Paracetamol is already in a lot of medicines, and you can double up on the dose without realising it. Read the ingredients very carefully if you ever use two medicines together. Even better, check with your pharmacist first.
- Danger of underdose. Many people are worried about taking too much medicine. While it very important to be careful not to give more than the recommended dose, it is equally important to take enough for it to work. As I often say to my customers “If you don’t take it, then it doesn’t work!”. Take the recommended dose. There are many times when customers have come to me or gone to see their doctor, when a temperature has stayed high, and all they needed to do was to give the medicine properly in the first place.