Experiencing a fever is very uncomfortable and, in some cases, can feel like it will not go away with the usual medications. So, what do you need to do? Before taking a trip to the nearest emergency, you might want to take a few moments to read this article to know when to go to an emergency room for fever or if there are alternatives.
Symptoms of a Fever
A fever is when your body’s temperature rises above the normal average of 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). So, what temperature should you go to the emergency room? First, you should learn the proper way to observe symptoms of a fever and how to take your or your child’s temperature.
Body temperature should be taken with a thermometer. Aside from that, observe if these symptoms are present:
- Chills or shivering
- Loss of appetite
There are many ways to check one’s temperature: oral, axillary, rectal, tympanic (with the ear), and temporal artery (the forehead).
This is the correct way to take your or someone else’s temperature for an armpit or axillary reading.:
- Place the thermometer in the armpit and across the arms over the chest.
- Wait for four to five minutes, then remove the thermometer and read the temperature.
- Note that the axillary temperature is slightly lower than an oral temperature.
- Note down the reading and the time.
If you want to know when to go to the emergency room for your baby’s fever, you must also know how to take a baby’s temperature using a rectal thermometer.
- Apply petroleum jelly on the bulb
- Lay the baby on their tummy
- Carefully insert the bulb ½ to 1 inch into the baby’s rectum
- Do not let go of the thermometer. You should get a reading almost right away.
- Note down the reading and the time.
What You Can Do Before Going to the Emergency Room
You can try a variety of remedies to ease your symptoms while at home. Give yourself time to rest. If you are wondering when you should go to the emergency room for fever, you are giving yourself extra stress. Rest allows the body to heal but also can help you prevent spreading the illness with somebody else
Staying hydrated is essential, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If your child is the one with a fever, give them fluids, like water, milk, or formula. For older children, chicken soup and fruit bars or ice pops are excellent sources of fluids.
Keep comfortable. Light clothing and a well-ventilated room can make a huge difference. If your or your child’s nose is congested, make use of a humidifier or vaporizer if you have one.
Most importantly, do not hesitate to call your doctor. They can give you sound and professional advice before you risk going out to head to the emergency room.
Why You Should Go to the Emergency Room
If your usual remedies do not seem to be working, check if these symptoms are also occurring:
- Temperature higher than 103 degrees F (39.4 degrees C)
- Severe headache
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Stiff neck
- Skin rash
This is when to go to the emergency room for fever in adults. Seek professional medical attention if you or your child are experiencing these. They will ask for your symptoms and if you’ve taken your temperature. Fortunately, by now, you have recorded all of that. They will also ask if you or your child are eating well and urinating well. The doctor will want every detail, and it is best to provide them with thorough answers to all their questions.
How to Prevent Getting a Fever
A fever is a tough experience to have, especially for small children who are not used to feeling weak and tired. Fortunately, you and your child can work to prevent getting a fever in the first place.
Wash your hands often. When your child sees you doing this, they’ll learn to follow you too. Wash your hands before eating, after using the toiler and after being in crowds, petting animals, taking public transport and being with a sick person.
Carry sanitizer with you for times when you cannot wash your hands. It’s important to focus on our hands because we use them so often. They touch our faces, our food, and other people.
When coughing and sneezing, turn away and cough or sneeze into your elbow. Avoid doing so into your hand, especially when there’s nowhere near for you to wash your hands immediately.
Also, avoid sharing your utensils and cups with your children. You should avoid this even more if you or your child is experiencing a fever.
A nasty fever can be a scary experience, and seeing your child suffer will make you want to bring them to the emergency room. Fortunately, you can first test out home remedies and make use of thermometers to get accurate readings. In emergencies or disasters, you may immediately think any time you or a child falls ill is when to go to the emergency room for a fever. If possible, consult your doctor first. Do not risk going out and making the fever worse and infecting people. Get more tips on first aid.