This Is How High Your Temperature Must Be To Have A Fever

The cold sweats, chills, debilitating headache, and muscle aches; there's no denying that having a fever can make you feel quite lousy. However, that pesky high temperature that's making you feel miserable is actually an indicator that your body is working for your own good. Having a fever is a great sign that your immune system is trying to fight off an unwanted virus or bacterial pathogen (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

Normal body temperature ranges between 97.5 to 98.9 F, but don't be alarmed and think you need to rush to your medical provider if your temperature is above that range. Among the medical community, a temperature of 100.4F or higher is considered a fever in adults. Fevers in children are a bit more complicated and are dependent on the age of the child as well as how the temperature is taken.

In children, the following are considered criteria for having a fever: children under three months old with a rectal temperature of 100.4F or more, kids between the ages of 3 months and 3 years with a rectal temperature above 102F, or children over 3 years old with an oral temperature above 103F (via WebMD).

Different ways to measure your temperature

Taking a rectal temperature is still the most accurate method, particularly in children, but in adults, using a thermometer under the armpit or tongue is most common — not to mention much more convenient. In more recent days, temporal digital thermometers have become increasingly common. It is important to be aware that underarm readings may be one degree lower than oral readings, and oral readings may be one degree lower than rectal temperatures.

Most fevers will resolve within a few days of rest, adequate hydration, and over-the-counter fever reducers, but if yours persists, it may be time to call your medical provider. Make sure in addition to telling them your temperature, you also include which method you used to record it. If you experience a seizure, extreme lethargy, confusion, rash, stiff neck, vomiting, or diarrhea with your fever, seek medical attention right away.