Fever in Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A fever is a high body temperature. A fever is one way your body fights illness. A temperature of up to 38.9°C can be helpful, because it helps the body respond to infection. Most healthy teens can tolerate a fever as high as 39.4°C to 40°C for short periods of time without problems. In most cases, a fever means you have a minor illness.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Drink plenty of fluids (enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water) to prevent dehydration. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear liquids. If you have to limit fluids because of a health problem, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Take an over-the-counter medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), to relieve your symptoms. Read and follow all instructions on the label. No one younger than 20 should take aspirin. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Take a sponge bath with lukewarm water if a fever causes discomfort.
  • Dress lightly.
  • Eat light foods, such as soup.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a fever of 40°C or higher.
  • You have a fever that stays high.
  • You have a fever and feel confused or often feel dizzy.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You have any problems with your medicine, or you get a fever after starting a new medicine.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 27, 2016