We all know what’s it’s like to have a fever. You feel tired, achy, and just don’t want to move. A fever is simply a temperature that’s higher than normal, but when you have one, it doesn’t seem so simple.

When you get a fever, it usually doesn’t come alone. It can be accompanied by head and muscle aches, chills, lack of interest in food, nausea, vomiting, digestive issues, and a host of other problems. That’s because fever often isn’t the problem; it’s usually just one symptom of a bigger problem, and the other symptoms will depend on what that cause is. A sustained fever is generally the sign of an infection, but can also be caused by sun exposure, allergic reaction, hot weather, or as a reaction to an immunization.

Fever is the body’s natural way to get rid of problems. That’s why the normal treatment is to simply wait it out. While this is a good idea in theory, in actuality it can be painful and uncomfortable. However, there are some things you can do to lower your fever and make yourself more comfortable.

You should monitor someone with a fever closely and regularly take their temperature to make sure their fever isn’t getting worse.

Be sure to keep them hydrated. While they may not want to drink anything due to an upset stomach, keeping fluids in the body will help the body work better and more efficiently regulate temperature so the person will get better faster. You should take extra care to replace fluids if the person is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. If they can’t drink water, try flattened soda like 7up or Sprite.

To help reduce fever and decrease some of the aches and pains associated with it, take acetaminophen. Never give anyone with a fever aspirin, especially kids.

When someone has a fever, they probably want to be wrapped in blankets to help prevent chills. The problem with this is that the blanket keeps the heat from escaping and traps it close to the body. This will not only prevent the fever from going down, it may actually raise body temperature. Do your best to keep them comfortable while allowing their body to cool. You can keep them in a cool room with light clothing, or give them a bath or sponge bath in lukewarm water.

While most fevers can be treated at home, there are cases where you may need medical help. You should see a doctor if your fever is very high (over 104 degrees), or is sustained for several days. You should also see a doctor if you have additional symptoms including: confusion, rash, painful urination, convulsions, stiff neck, trouble breathing, or severe vomiting or diarrhea.

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