Fever (which can accompany chills) is the body's natural response to a variety of conditions, such as infection. If the fever is mild (102°F or less) with no side effects, no professional treatment is required. Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
Evaporation cools the skin and thereby reduces body temperature. Sponging with comfortably warm water (about 70°F) may help reduce a fever. Cold water, though, is uncomfortable and may increase the fever because it can trigger chills.
Medicines such as acetaminophen are effective for fighting a fever and chills.
Do not bundle up in blankets if you have a high temperature. Do not use fans or air conditioners either. These measures will only make the chills worse and even cause the fever to rise.
HOME CARE FOR A CHILD
If the child's temperature is causing the child to be uncomfortable, give pain-relieving tablets or liquid. Non-aspirin pain-relievers such as acetaminophen are preferred. Ibuprofen may also be used. Follow the recommended dosage on the package label.
Note: Do not give aspirin to treat fever in a child younger than 19 years old because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
Other things to help the child feel more comfortable include:
- Dress the child in light clothing, provide liquids, and keep the room cool but not uncomfortable.
- Do not use ice water or rubbing alcohol baths to reduce a child's temperature. These can cause shivering and even shock.
- Do not bundle a feverish child in blankets.
- Do not wake a sleeping child to give medicine or take a temperature. Sleep (rest) is more important.