How do I give first aid for a fever?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Minor fevers do not require any first aid. If a fever is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, treat the fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Adults may also use aspirin for treatment, which should not be given to children. If a newborn baby has a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, see your doctor. Children between three months and two years should seek medical help if their temperature is over 102 degrees, or the fever lasts more than a day. Older children and adults should seek treatment if the fever is over 103 degrees or lasts for more than three days. If other serious symptoms are also present (bad headache, swelling, rash, confusion, pain, or vomiting), seek emergency treatment.

First aid for a fever most often involves giving acetaminophen, ibuprofen or a combination of the two. Caution should be taken in very young infants as well as the elderly or chronically ill, as these medications can be dangerous to some people. When in doubt, ask a medical professional. Fever first aid should also include asking where the fever is coming from. For example, does the person have a cold, stomachache, sore throat, cough, vomiting, etc.? From here, you can take other appropriate supportive measures such as a cool bath or towel on the head, plenty of fluids, anti-nausea medication or fever-reducing medications in suppository form. If fevers persist despite adequate medication or if serious illness is suspected, seek further medical help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.