98.6 is considered normal, but what’s normal for you? Lot’s of things can elevate your temp, exercise, excitement, food, excess clothing. Temperatures can also vary for the individual. One of my kids runs cool, another warmer, you have to pay attention to what’s normal for the person. But here is a general rule, 99-100 start thinking about the possibility of a a fever, 100 or above it is a fever.

A fever itself is not an illness, it’s a symptom of one. It’s the bodies defense mechanism against infection and it can serve a useful purpose. So another general rule, if the fever is 102 or below, don’t get too excited about treating the fever itself. A low grade fever although it helps make you feel bad, also is doing the job of killing the germs and making you feel better faster, in the long run. However if the fever worsens, is associated with a stiff neck, fails to lessen with treatment, last more than 5 days, see a doctor. Also fever in a baby less than 4 months old needs to be checked, and in adults with chronic illnesses such as heart or respiratory disease, get it checked!

However for most fevers, here are some comfort measures:

Drink! – When you’re hot your body perspires to cool you down. But that also means you’re losing water. Dehydration can be in issue, so drink those fluids. Fruits and veggies are also great at this time, especially if you juice them.

Herbal teas – Linden tea, by itself is also good, it can induce sweating to break a fever. Use 1 tbl of the flowers in 1 cup of boiling water, strain and drink several times a day.

Willow bark – This bark is rich in salicylates, which are aspirin related compounds and is considered natures fever medication. Brew and drink in small doses

Black elder – Another old time favorite fever treatment. Black elder is preferable to willow bark if you have a hard time tolerating aspirin

Ice – If you’re too nauseated to drink, you can suck on ice. For variety, freeze fruit juice in an ice cube tray. A feverish child might be bribed by freezing a grape or strawberry in the cube

Wet Compresses – Hot moist compresses can do the job. When the patient starts to feel uncomfortably hot, remove those compresses and apply cool ones to the forehead, wrists, and calves. Keep the rest of the body covered. If the fever rises to above 103, do not use hot compresses, only cool ones. Change them as the body warms them up and apply cool ones until fever comes down

Sponge off – Evaporation also has a cooling effect on body temperature. Cool tap water on a sponge helps dissipate the heat. You can sponge the whole body but just paying attention to the places where heat is generally greatest will do the job, such as, armpits and the groin area. Wipe one section at a time keeping the rest of the body covered. Body heat will evaporate the moisture, so you don’t need to towel off

Take a dip – A tub of warm or body temperature water can calm shivers and help bring fever down. For a child or invalid an alternative could be sandwiching them between wet towels and changing them every 15 minutes

Don’t suffer – If you’re miserable take a pain reliever, and it will reduce the fever. Never give a child under 21 aspirin! Aspirin can trigger Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal neurological illness. Acetaminophen for children given as directed should do the trick and be safe

Careful with clothing and covers – If you’re hot, uncover, if you’re cold, cover up!

Fresh air – let fresh air in but not a breeze, make the room comfortable

Eat, if you want to – don’t worry about starve a fever or whatever. If you’re hungry, eat