Fever Phobia

by Dr Uzelac

Fever can be very scary for any parent, I know! I have been there as a parent, and I did my share of panicking. It is never easy when your child is sick, however try to look at the fever from positive perspective. Fever as a good thing that can happen during the illness. And here is why:

Fever is our body's natural response to infection. By raising the body's temperature, we raise the energy to fight the infection. When you lower the temperature down (with Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen), you prolong the duration of illness for usually 2-3 days. The higher the fever, the shorter duration of your child's illness (in normal circumstances : healthy child that gets sick)

Any fever lower than 102 F (38.8C) is considered a LOW grade fever. So don't sweat the small numbers.

If your child is less than 2 months old take seriously any fever over 100.4F (38C) and take your child to ER for further evaluation and treatment.

For everyone else, here is the list of 6 things you can do yourself to alleviate your child's symptoms.

 

Try not to panic

I know it is scary when you see a 3 digit number on your thermometer. Remember: the higher the fever, the shorter duration of illness. And using fever reducers may prolong your child illness for 2-3 days! So what do you do?

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Look at your child, not at the number on thermometer! 

Sometimes, kids can run a fever and still act normal, which means - you do not need to reach for the fever reducers right away. Concentrate on your child: hydration, keeping them comfortable may be the only thing you need to do. Do not panic with numbers you see on thermometer if your child looks well. And remember, "fever" means that body temperature is over 101.5F! If your child has 99F or 101F, he/she does NOT have a fever! Just slightly elevated body temperature. Of course, this means something is going on/ brewing/ in the body, but it does not mean you need to reach for medicine right away.


Luke warm shower

Better than bath! Since water is constantly running from the shower, it can not be heated by body's temperature (like in a bath tub) so it will provide a constant cooling effect. Please do not use ice cold water, no one likes to be shocked by the freezing sensation. Luke warm water is cold enough to lower the fever. Also, please do not use rubbing alcohol. It is harsh on the skin (dries it up) and can inebriate your child with its evaporations.

Hydration...and ....hydration again!

While running fever, body looses fluids, so keep up and hydrate your child. Best with water, coconut water or clear Pedialyte (I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners or colors, so keep it clear and add your fruit for flavor). Check my post on hydration for natural hydrating recipes. Keep breastfeeding if you are. Breast milk will give your child extra immunity boost.

Cooling Essential Oils

Eucalyptus or peppermint oil rubbed on your child's feet or chest (if congested). Make sure they are mixed in carrier oils (avocado, sesame or coconut oil) so they do not burn your child's skin.

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Homeopathic medicine

Homeopathics are often confused with herbs. They are usually in shape of small sweet pellets,  have no pharmacologically active ingredients, do not interact with prescribed drugs, and are therefore extremely safe.
However, they are very particulate and in order to have full effect you have to know which ones to use for what type of fever. For example, Belladonna 6C is used for high fever associated with sweating, and Aconite 6C for sudden high fever associated with thirst...

For more, check my post on homeopathy HERE.

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