Calf wrap against fever

Definition - What are calf rolls?

Of calves against fever, most have probably heard before. Especially in children, but also in adults, wraps are an easy-to-use and gentle method of reducing fever.

The method is based on a very simple principle: The wrap is slightly cooler than the skin surface of the patient. The warmer skin then leads to evaporation of the water, which in turn cools the skin. Thus, the fever can be lowered by 0.5 to 1 ° C depending on the duration of use.

How do you do calf wrap?

Calf rolls are best used in lying or at least half-lying patients. Before the wraps are put on, the fever should be measured and hands and feet checked for their temperature.

Only when hands and feet are warm or even hot can calf rolls be used. If this is not the case and the extremities feel cold, then the patient is still in the fever rise. It has to wait until it is finished. Shivering can also be a sign of this.

The following items should be provided for the calf rolls:

  • two thin (linen) towels
  • two towels
  • one or two bath towels
  • a bowl of lukewarm to lukewarm water for use in children or cool (16-20 ° C) to lukewarm water for use in adolescents and adults.

In the first step, one of the bath towels should be placed in the bed as protection against moisture. Then one of the two thin linen towels is dipped into the bowl of water and wrung out. It should still be wet, but not dripping anymore. This is now wrapped about one and a half times around the lower leg of the patient. Then the dry towel is attached. It should be wrapped quite tightly in both layers, so that the cloths lie directly on the skin of the patient.

The process is now repeated on the second leg. It is important that the wrap does not cover the knees or the ankles. These should stay free. As a last step, another bath towel or other thin cloth can now be loosely placed around both legs or the patient can easily be covered with it. Here care must be taken that no too thick towels or blankets are used, otherwise a so-called heat accumulation can occur. As a result, the antipyretic effect of the wrap can be lost.

How often should you make calf rolls?

Calf rolls work most effectively when applied three times in a row. For children is also a simpler version of two consecutive passes.

  • During the first pass, it takes only a few minutes in moderate to high fever until the coils have nearly reached the body temperature of the patient.
  • This is followed by the second wrap, which should remain on the skin for about ten minutes.
  • The third round should take a maximum of about 20 minutes.

Then the wounds must be removed and the skin of the patient dried.

What temperature should calf wrap have?

Calf rolls can be used with different warm water depending on the age of the patient. In addition to cold reels, which are made with warm water at about 20 ° C, adults also find lukewarm wraps. Especially with the cold diapers care must be taken that the patient does not start to feel cold .

Children should not use cold water. Here you can fall back to lukewarm to lukewarm water. The temperature of the calf wrap is only a few degrees away from the body temperature of the patient. Nevertheless, this wrap effect and are less stressful for the circulation.

What to consider in calf wrapping & when should it not be used?

Before using calf wrap, it is essential to check the temperature of the hands and feet of the patient. If these are cold or cold, it is, as already mentioned, still in the fever rise. Then calf rolls may not be used.

Only with warm or hot extremities is the application possible. But even then caution is required. Patients with circulatory or cardiac problems should refrain from calf wrap therapy for safety reasons. Because lowering the fever can burden the circulation. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the circulation during a wrap treatment.

If dizziness or nausea occurs, the wraps must be removed immediately. To prevent circulatory problems as well as possible, the fever should be measured before and during treatment with calf wrap.

Duration of use - How long are the calf rolls left on the leg?

As a general rule, it is important to remember that the wraps must be removed immediately if they are uncomfortable for the patient or if they begin to freeze during treatment with calf rolls.

Otherwise, the wrap is changed or removed as soon as it reaches the skin temperature of the patient. That can be easily felt. However, it should be removed after a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes, as otherwise the patient's circulation is too heavily loaded.

How fast do calf rolls reduce fever?

The effect of calf wrapping occurs after a very short time. After an application of about half an hour, as described above, the temperature has usually dropped by a half to a full degree Celsius. Even further, the temperature should not drop after one use only once. Just as the effect of the winding unfolds comparatively quickly, it can otherwise come with prolonged use to circulatory problems.

What do you have to pay attention to in babies, children and pregnant women?

Special features of babies

For babies, the guiding principle is to urge that every fever be clarified first by the pediatrician. The use of calf wrapping should be done in babies then at the earliest from the age of six months. But also in older babies and toddlers often arise problems with a treatment with calf rolls, as many babies do not tolerate the wet wraps or keep them by kicking the calves.

Here we recommend the easier handling with stockings instead of towels, as already mentioned in the vinegar wraps. These hold better on the lower leg and are not so easy to strip. As with the wrappers, a second dry stocking is pulled over the damp, no longer dripping and warm stocking. Especially important here is again that the stockings reach to the knees, but not over the knee. It is also more difficult for babies to determine if the application is uncomfortable for the little patient. Parents should watch their baby or toddler during calf wrap therapy and remove their baby sacks or socks if their baby is uncomfortable.

Special features of children

In children, there are still some things to consider before using calf rolls. Since fever is a common sign of infectious diseases, a pediatrician should be consulted, especially for young children, but also generally for safety. This can then clarify the cause of the fever and possibly agree with a treatment with calf rolls.

In the actual application, the temperature of the winding plays a major role. In children, the wraps should not be too cold, here are recommended, as already mentioned, hand-warm or at least lukewarm wraps. Often a single change of the wraps is sufficient for children. After another 20 minutes, the wrap should be removed and the fever measured again. It is particularly important for children to ensure that the fever is not lowered by more than one degree Celsius. During treatment with calf rolls, the child must be watched closely. One parent should be present at all times to detect any symptoms of discomfort or freezing during treatment. Then the calf rolls must be removed.

Special features in pregnancy

In pregnancy, calf rolls are a special alternative to reducing fever, as many antipyretic drugs are either not allowed or have not been adequately studied in pregnant women. In addition to the previously mentioned precautions before use, such as measuring fever and temperature of the hands and feet, pregnant women should pay particular attention to the circulation.

Caution should be taken with fever in and around pregnancies if it occurs suddenly or rises very high, if there is a fever after scraping and if there is a fever associated with a congestion . In these cases, and generally in case of uncertainty, a doctor should always be consulted.

Calf wrap - variants

Vinegar Wadenwickel

Also vinegar shows among other things fever-reducing properties. Similar to water, thinnings or so-called vinegar socks can also be used with gentle vinegar to gently reduce fever. For this purpose, mix about four to five parts of lukewarm water with one part (apple) vinegar. Into the mixture can be dipped either analogously to the application with water linen cloths or other thin cloths. The procedure continues as in normal calf rolls.

It is also possible to dip a pair of cotton socks into the vinegar-water mixture. These are then also wrung out until they no longer drip and the patient is put on over the calves. A pair of dry cotton socks are pulled over it. This method is particularly suitable for babies and toddlers because of the easier handling.

Of course, special care must nevertheless be taken to ensure that the patient has warm hands and feet and that the socks or socks also extend well enough over the calves, possibly to the back of the knees.

Calf wrap with Setterspitz

Calf rolls can also be used with Retterspitz. Retterspitz contains a mixture of essential oils, such as bergamot or orange blossom oil, and various medicinal plants, such as arnica, which has been shown to be helpful in blunt injuries, or rosemary, which is used for rheumatic complaints.

This combination shows all kinds of other effects and antipyretic properties. Wraps with Retterspitz are also suitable, for example, for bruises, strains and other sports injuries or for the treatment of inflammation. The wraps are applied similarly to vinegar wraps diluted with water. The other handling corresponds to that of the classic calf wrap.

Calf wrap with cottage cheese

Quark wrap is another home remedy that is often used to reduce fever and for the treatment of minor sports injuries. For this purpose, a mixture of cottage cheese and a little vinegar is applied to a thin linen or cotton cloth. The curd is spreadable by the vinegar; In addition, vinegar, as already mentioned, is partly responsible for the antipyretic property of quark wrap. The finished rolls are then, as described above in the normal calf rolls attached to both lower legs; for sports injuries, such as bruises and sprains, corresponding only to the affected leg or arm. The wrap may then remain in place for about half an hour before being removed and the skin cleaned with a damp cloth. Of course, it should also be noted here that Quark wraps to reduce fever must not be used to increase fever.

What are calf wrap hooks?

Wadenwickelhaken have less to do with the well-known calf rolls to reduce fever. They come from the Middle Ages and were to stabilize the at that time often worn by men winding gaiters, or fix their ends. Today they are rarely found. Only as a decoration or accessory calf wrap hooks can be found on medieval markets or festivals.


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