Measuring body temperature is usually the first diagnostic test to determine illness. Since the body’s response to infections or other abnormal conditions is to produce a fever, fevers are an measurable sign of illness. Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. If the body temperature, as measured by a thermometer, is more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the patient has a fever.
Thermometers are an accurate way to measure fever and, therefore, to assess the seriousness of an illness. Although body temperature of individuals can vary widely and each person’s temperature varies according to the time of day and activity, a temperature reaching over 103 degrees, indicates an illness may be serious and medical attention is recommended.
Children usually have higher body temperatures and wider temperature variances throughout the day. Children may develop high temperatures quickly and, just as quickly, return to normal.
Common Causes of Fever:
Colds, flu, sore throats
Urinary tract infections
Common Treatment of Fever:
Acetaminopohen and ibuprophen (do not give aspirin to children under age 17)
Sponge or bath in tepid (not cold) water.
Seek medical assistance if fever is more than 103 degrees, lasts longer than two days, for a child less than six months old or if the patient exibits neck stiffness, lethargy or confusion.