How to manage your loved ones temperature
Symptoms and tricks

How to manage my loved one’s Temperature

February 14, 2018 admin

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Why does it never fail after a long day of taking care of your sick loved one, they spike a temperature in the evening? Some feel it might be the physical activity we have performed throughout the day. Maybe our metabolism is ramped up after eating. Even the thought of hormones and climate come into play. Although I do not have an answer for this specific question, I do have some ways to combat that fever and remain sane.

Why do we run a Fever?

The body runs a fever when something is not normal. Running a fever is a defense mechanism of the body and is a good sign. A good sign that your body is working to protect you. The body is created with such grace and wisdom. There is a multitude of systems in place to protect against “the unnatural”. “The Unnatural” could be a virus, cold, infection or bacteria. “The unnatural” is the underlining cause of the fever. By figuring out the underlining cause of the fever we can more effectively treat our loved one.

Common causes of fever:

  • Infection: most infections are caused by bacteria, the good thing is bacteria can be treated with antibiotics
  • Trauma: hitting the body and disrupting the “norm” will cause the body’s temperature to increase
    • After any surgery
    • Teething baby
    • Dental procedures
    • After a fall
    • An accident
  • Virus: such as the flu, a virus cannot be treated with antibiotics but must run their course
  • Medications: certain side effects can cause a fever
  • Vaccines: a common side effect of any vaccine is a low-grade temperature
  • Cancer: cancer can cause a fever at any time for any reason
  • Auto Immune diseases: such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Too many layers: check and see how many layers of clothing and the type of clothing that is on your loved one, you might be surprised at what materials can cause heat to the body
  • Burns: this includes sunburns and windburns

As the body is fighting the “unnatural” it is common to run what is called a low-grade temperature {99.0 F to 100.5 F}. You do not want to treat this with medication (as this is normal and natural).  The goal is the body will fight the “unnatural” as the body is designed. A fever higher than 100.5 degrees F needs to be treated. While many things can cause a rise in body temperature it is important to try and find the cause which will allow us, caregivers, to give the most comfort to our loved ones.

How can I tell if my loved one has a fever?

Before even touching your loved one you might notice a change in color in their face. Rosy red cheeks are a good indicator that someone might have a fever.

When you touch your loved one they might feel hot, clammy or appear to have been sweating. These are all good indicators that your loved one has a temperature or has had a temperature recently.

Today’s advancement in medical equipment provides many alternative ways to checking a temperature aside from the good ole oral thermometer.

Top Thermometers

Here are my favorites for checking temperatures:

Whichever way you choose to check your loved one’s temperature keep it the same (orally, rectally, under the arm, in the ear or on the forehead).

While running a fever is the body’s way of fighting off illness it uncommon for a person to only run a fever with no other symptoms. It is best to provide comfort to your loved one for the fever and the other symptoms. While this might seem overwhelming just remember ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Other symptoms you might see with a fever:

  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Increased thirst
  • Rash
  • Decrease appetite
  • Lethargy (weakness)
  • Increase agitation or anxiety (fussy babies)
  • Upset stomach: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

 

Treatments for my loved one’s fever!

  1. Medications: several medications can help at this time

    1. Antipyretics: such as Tylenol, this can be taken about every 4-6 hours for fever, this can also provide comfort to body aches
    2. Non-steroidal medications: such as Ibuprofen or Aleve, these works on inflammation of the body, so they are extremely helpful with joint pain or sites with swelling, these can be taken about every 4-6 hours
    3. Antibiotics: these must be prescribed by a doctor, you must complete the entire amount prescribed, you may need to return to the doctor if still running fever after completing all the medication
  2. Push Fluids:

    1. Your loved one can become dehydrated quickly when running a fever due to increased body temperature and losing water through sweating, coughing and sneezing. It is important to push healthily fluids (not soda as this can dehydrate the body) such as water, Pedialyte, or sports drinks (be cautious with sugar content). Broth is soothing and comforting.
    2. Your goal should be 8oz of fluids every 2 hours for adults. About 1oz of fluids every hour for children.
  3. Sponge for comfort:

    1. The age-old tale is to strip them down and put them in cold water….WAIT…before doing this. More studies have shown this is not the BEST solution. You do want to bring the fever down just not so drastically. If your loved one can bath a lukewarm bath is a great solution. Most of the time when sick, a person is stuck in bed.
    2. Putting a lukewarm washcloth on your loved one’s forehead, under the chin, under the armpits and in the groin area can be just as effective and comforting.
  4. Adjust room temperature:

    1. A fan can provide quick relief. You might not want to put the fan directly on your loved one but just allow it to circulate the air in the room.
    2. If you can open a window (weather permitting) this can cause some relief, with the added benefit of fresh air. You might not want to adjust the overall temperature of the room since it is common for a person to get chills with a rise in body temperature.
  5. Clothing:

    1. Put your loved one in thin clothing.
    2. Only cover with one sheet or light blanket until the fever is resolved.
    3. Check the linens your loved one is laying on (could this cause more heat). You may want to change to a more breathable material.
  6. Rest:

    1. Allow your loved one plenty of time to rest, this includes sleep. Our bodies heal and recover during sleep.
  7. Healthy diet:

    1. You can still eat even with a fever, this is actually encouraged. You want to make healthy choices that will help your loved one heal faster.
    2. Many vegetables and fruits are high in water content which will help with hydration. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals to help with healing.
    3. Soups are easy to make and digest. The warmth of the soup can be soothing to your loved one.

 

Keeping yourself sane while caring for your loved one.

The best advice is rest when your loved one rests. This is so simple but so very true. When I had my first baby my mother told me “You send that baby to the nursery at night so you can rest because it will be your only chance” of course this was when you didn’t keep the baby with you all the time at the hospital. I remember thinking NO mom I want to hold and snuggle my baby. BUT mother knows best. When I had my second and third children I was more than pleased to send them to the nursery for just one night of sleep. This is when I learned the motto REST WHEN THE BABY RESTS which I have since turned into REST WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE RESTS!

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