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Chills Rigors

Information about Chills/Rigors

We Have to Know about the Chills/Rigors

  • Also known as shivering, chills refers to feeling cold after an exposure to a cold environment. This can also be accompanied by paleness
  • Chills are common in young children. Even minor illness may produce high fevers in young children

Causes of Chills/Rigors

  • Chills may occur at the beginning of an infection and are usually associated with a fever. Chills are caused by rapid muscle contraction and relaxation and are the body’s way of generating heat when it feels that it is cold. Chills often predict the coming of a fever or an increase in the body’s core temperature
  • Chills may also represent a very significant and consistent finding in certain diseases such as malaria
  • Exposure to a cold environment
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Colds
  • Influenza
  • Viral gastroenteritis
  • Bacterial gastroenteritis
  • Urinary tract infections such as pyelonephritis
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis

Signs and Symptoms of Chills/Rigors

  • Hypothermia
  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infection

Do’s & Don’ts of Chills/Rigors

  • If the child’s temperature is over 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit 1 to 2 hours after giving medication for fever, place the child in a tub of lukewarm water up to the navel. Rub a wet cloth or towel over the child’s body for 20 minutes or for as long as can be tolerated. Add warm water as needed to keep the water temperature the same, and keep the child from shivering. Pat (don’t rub) the child dry with a towel
  • Dress the child in light clothing, provide liquids, and keep the room cool but not uncomfortable. Don’t use ice water to reduce a child’s temperature. These can cause shock. Don’t wrap a feverish child in blankets
  • Don’t wake a sleeping child to give medication or take a temperature — sleep is more important.

Medical advice for Chills/Rigors

  • There is stiffness of the neck and confusion
  • There is a significant cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or burning, or frequency of urination
  • There is a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more in a child younger than 3 months of age
  • A child between 3 months and 1 year has a fever that lasts more than 24 hours
  • The fever remains above 103 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour or 2 of home treatment
  • The fever does not improve after 3 days or has lasted more than 5 days

Risk factors of Chills/Rigors

  • fever

Treatment for Chills/Rigors

  • Treatment depends on the duration of the chills and accompanying symptoms especially fever

Self-care for Chills/Rigors

  • If the fever is mild (102 degrees Fahrenheit or less) with no side effects, no professional treatment is required. Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest
  • Sponging with comfortably warm water (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) may help in reducing a fever. Cold water, however, is uncomfortable and may increase the fever because it can cause chills
  • Do not wrap up in blankets if there is a high temperature as it can cause a fever to rise

Investigations for Chills/Rigors

  • Blood and urine tests, Sputum culture, X-ray of the chest
Causes of Chills/Rigors
Exposure to a cold environment