Some good tips for breaking a fever include using a fever reducer medication, staying hydrated, bathing in water and not wearing heavy clothing. Someone has a fever when the oral temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or the rectal temperature reading is 100.7 degrees F. A mild fever is defined as a temperature reading that is under 100.4 degrees F, according to WebMD.
When the fever is 102 Fahrenheit or higher, then a simple at-home treatment to reduce the fever in adults is to take an over-the-counter pain and fever relievers, such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. However, children under the age of 18 should not take aspirin, states eMedicineHealth.
A sponge bath with warm water may also help to break a fever, but using cold water should be avoided. Wearing light clothing or bed coverings in bed are a wise choice. Heavy clothing or blankets may cause the body temperature to go up. Additionally, because fevers can cause dehydration, it is important to drink sufficient amounts of fluids.
Although these are some practical tips to reduce a fever, a fever that is 105 F or over is serious and can require medical attention. Similarly, a high fever accompanied with troubling symptoms such as a stiff neck, rash or seizures also may need emergency medical help. When a child has a fever, parents should be concerned if the fever lasts longer than 5 days, is 104 F or higher, does not respond to fever relievers or is accompanied by a seizure that lasts over 5 minutes, notes Cleveland Clinic. In these cases, it is important to see a doctor or get prompt medical help.