6 Beliefs About Fever That Are Absolute Myths

common fever myths busted

It has been estimated that more than 80% of people have pyrexiophobia or phobia of fever. People are in a rush to take a painkiller when their body temperature rises. Among parents, in particular, the fear of fever regarding their little one is more rampant.

Our body’s thermostat is the hypothalamus. It regulates body temperature based on physical activity and the weather. It maintains a normal temperature by balancing the heat lost through lungs and skin with the heat produced through metabolic activity.

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When there is infection or inflammation, our body temperature rises to make the environment unsuitable for the infectious organisms to multiply. The higher temperature also helps in activation of more defense cells which are needed for healing and recovery.1

6 Fever Myths Busted

There’s a lot of paranoia around fever, which has led to an increase in the spread of myths about it. These myths are mostly based on fear rather than logic. Here are 6 such myths about fever you need to be aware of:

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1. High Body Temperature Is Always Dangerous

high temperature is not always dangerous

Many of us lose our wits when the body temperature rises. A high temperature is a natural defense mechanism to combat the infectious pathogens that have entered the body.

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The best thing to do is to take rest and drink lots of fluids. Unless it crosses 100-degree Fahrenheit in kids and 102-degree Fahrenheit in adults, medical attention is not required.

2. Covering Up With Blankets Is A Must During Fever

covering with blankets during fever is not advised

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Often worried parents bundle up their kids in thick blankets to bring the temperature down. This is unnecessary as covering up with heavy blankets can increase body heat and make your child uncomfortable.

It’s best to dress them in their pajamas and cover them in a lightweight blanket.

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3. A Cold Bath Is A Great Way To Bring Down Fever

lukewarm water can be used to relieve fever

This is not true as it can be very harmful. Coming in contact with cold water can spike your core temperature by abruptly cooling the skin. This leads to chills and shivering. It’s best to take a bath in lukewarm water or wipe the entire body with a warm compress to get some relief during a fever.

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4. Fever Fits Can Be Damaging To The Brain

Fever Fits Can Be Damaging To The Brain

It’s natural for kids to experience febrile convulsions or fever fits when they fall sick. Usually, children in the age group of 3–18 months can suffer from fever fits. It’s often accompanied by a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for a few minutes.

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Febrile fits cannot lead to epilepsy or brain damage and they affect only 4% of children worldwide. Make sure you keep your child’s head tilted to the side to prevent choking. Also, ensure that they have nothing in their mouth during the fits.

5. All Kinds Of Fever Need Antibiotics

fever doesn't need antibiotic everytime

Antibiotics are only given to aid the body’s immune system in bacterial infections. Fever can occur due to viral infections, allergies, and hormonal imbalances too.

A majority of people have the habit of popping an OTC antibiotic in an attempt to recover from fever. This can be harmful as the side-effects of these drugs are even worse when compared to their benefits.

6. High Fever Means Something’s Wrong

high fever, body ache, rashes can be serious

Having a high body temperature doesn’t always indicate a serious underlying cause. Fever is the body trying to overpower the microbial infection and usually goes down in 3 days.

Along with fever, look for other important signs like body aches, rashes, watery eyes, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and paleness in appearance. If any of these are present, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately.

Awareness is key in leading a healthy life.2 Fever is the body’s attempt at trying to get you back to your healthy self. Be supportive of your body’s efforts by having a healthy diet, lots of water, and rest.

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