An elevated body temperature, or fever, is one of the body's alarms or warning signs. When an otherwise healthy individual has a body temperature over a certain threshold, it generally indicates that some form of illness is taking form within their body. From infants to elderly adults, it's important that each person knows what constitutes a fever and how to take action.
When it comes to fevers, it's important to understand that the baseline for assessing the risk behind someone's elevated body temperature depends on their age and several other factors.
For example, in infants, even a slight elevation in body temperature can be a symptom of an infection. With adults, a low-grade fever that persists for several days can speak to the same issue. If you detect that your or your loved one's body temperature is elevated, it's important to take the matter seriously.
There is no need to send yourself into a panic over inaccurate information, so make sure that the temperature reading you receive is accurate. When it comes to infants, rectal temperatures provide the most precise information. For a child that is fussy or for adults, a reading from the ear is the second-best option.
To maintain accuracy, it's best to take your temperature when you're in a state of rest. Moving around a lot or taking a hot shower or bath can cause your temperature to read high. If you can, wait anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour after these activities before you check your temperature.
It's important to look for any accompanying symptoms. Home thermometers are not fool-proof. Even if the reading on the device shows no fever or a low-grade fever, if you or your loved one are experiencing chills, weakness, vomiting, confusion, or any other unusual symptoms, you need to seek medical attention.
When the body temperature reaches a dangerously high level, many of these symptoms start to surface. It's important to be seen by a healthcare professional to lower the temperature and to find out what the driving force behind the increase is.
Your health is critically important. Should you or a loved one feel ill, do not hesitate to seek medical care as soon as possible. An urgent care center is standing by ready to provide you with the care you need.
To learn more, contact a resource like a Walk-In Family Medicine Center.