2 Ways a Fever Is Good For Your Child

fever

Some parents take fevers in stride; they keep an eye on their fevering child and only give medication if it gets “too high” according to their definition of high.  Some parents, on the other hand, have fever phobia – they panic if their child is the least bit warm, and you can bet the Tylenol is pulled out of the cabinet to make sure that fever is lowered.  It seems since the production of anti-fever medicines, parents feel that they need to use them at the sign of any fever.  And hey, I’m not pointing any fingers because I’ve been there many times!

So is this a good thing?  Should fevers be lowered at all costs?

To help answer this, we have to understand why we have fevers and what their purpose is.  If we think of fevers in the way we should, we will be more comfortable treating them and the fear of them will be be much less.  Fevers are a sign that an invader has entered the body, whether it be bacterial, viral, or from toxins in medications,  vaccinations, etc.  Fevers are not the problem, the foreign object is.  Fevers are actually coming to your rescue.

2 Ways a Fever Is Good For Your Child

1. A fever is evidence that the immune system is working strong.  It stimulates the immune system to wage war on the invading substances by rapidly producing more antibodies to fight the illness.

2. A fever raises the body’s temperature to a point that the body heat can kill the infection and stop the reproduction of the microbes.  The more severe the illness is, the higher the temperature has to be raised to kill those particular microbes.

In an otherwise healthy child, the body will turn the fever off before it reaches a dangerous point.  Allowing a fever to run its course will many times reduce the length and severity of the illness.

Should you be concerned when your child has a fever?  Yes you should, but you should be more concerned about what illness or infection is going on than you should be the fever itself.  In many cases, the fever itself is not to be feared.

Febrile Seizures and Brain Damage

You may be thinking: what about brain damage and those terrifying febrile seizures?  Febrile seizures can be very scary to witness, but they cause no brain damage or harmful long-term effects. {Source} A febrile seizure happens when the fever rises too fast.  You know how your child shivers when they first have a fever?  That’s the body’s way of producing heat to raise the temperature.  Most febrile seizures happen on the first day of the fever when the body’s temperature is rising too quickly.  To help prevent febrile seizures, administer warm tea and keep the patient covered well during the shivering stage of a fever so the body doesn’t have to work so hard to raise its temperature.  A few of my favorite herbs to use when dealing with fevers are yarrow, elder flowers, and red raspberry.

If your child has a fever, watch him/her closely.

Always contact your doctor if:

  • You are dealing with a high fever in an infant
  • Your child has a high fever for more than a few days
  • The patient is not improving
  • Your God-given intuition tells you medical help is necessary
  • The patient is listless or sensitive to light

For excellent information on fevers, I highly recommend Treating Fevers Naturally by Meagan Visser.  As a registered nurse and herbalist, Meagan combines the perfect balance of information on handling fevers from a medical and natural standpoint!

How do you handle fevers?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  Always contact your doctor when needed.

 

Using Vinegar To Reduce Fevers



Fevers

My daughter had a fever a few weeks ago that reached about 105 degrees.  It’s easy for moms to completely flip out at high temperatures, {and I have been there many times}, however after studying the truth about fevers I can normally stay pretty calm these days when they get high.  Knowledge helps us handle situations with less fear.  Fevers are actually a friend and not the enemy, you just have to know how to treat them so they can assist your child in getting better.

If one of my children has a soaring fever, I like to bring the temperature down naturally so they can rest well but the fever can still do its work.  One way I lower fevers naturally is with raw apple cider vinegar {yes the vinegar with 101 amazing uses :) }.  This method has been used successfully for ages by those of days gone by.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Soaks To Reduce Fevers

  1. Soak 2 rags in a bowl of raw apple cider vinegar and squeeze them so they are not dripping wet.
  2. Place one rag on the patient’s tummy and one rag in the forehead.
  3. Leave the rags on for at least an hour.  It takes about an hour for the fever to come down.

It’s that simple!

Yes it stinks!  I love to make tinctures and salad dressing with this vinegar, but I’m not too fond of smelling it non-stop for an hour.  And most times the last thing children want is cold, smelly rags on their body when they are not feeling well, but this remedy works so well without the harmful effects of Tylenol, that it’s worth that smelly hour.  As a parent, it’s necessary to calmly insist that our children allow us to do what is best for them.  Don’t you think? :)

As I’ve mentioned, it takes about an hour for the fever to reduce.  In my experience, this remedy does not normally break the fever completely, only reduces it to a more comfortable level.  When fevers are at work, they are assisting the body in stopping the invading substance that is making our child ill.  It’s best to let fevers do their work, but sometimes necessary to reduce them to help the patient be more comfortable.

I’ll have to write more on fevers soon, plus other fever remedies.  Let me leave you with 4 quick thoughts that are essential when dealing with fevers.  

4 Quick Thoughts When Dealing With Fevers

  1. Keep a close eye on your child day and night when they have a fever.  I sleep with my fevering children and check their temperature every time I wake up.
  2. Keep your child well hydrated.  Dehydration can be deadly and can easily happen with fevers.  Make sure they drink something every 15 minutes to hourly – depending on how high the fever is.  I do not wake them up if they are sleeping well and not suffering from dehydration.  If the patient is sick to the stomach and not wanting to drink, giving them a teaspoon of liquid every 15 to 30 minutes is better than nothing.  Even if you have to squirt some water in their mouth with a syringe, make sure your patient stays hydrated.
  3. Always see a doctor if a fever persists for days and the patient is not improving.  Never hesitate to get medical help when needed.  If you handle fevers well at home, you should not find it necessary to seek other treatment in most cases.
  4. And let me throw a quick 4th one in here.  High fevers in tiny babies can be very serious.  I would seek help for high fevers in small infants.

Have you ever used vinegar to reduce fevers?  What is your favorite natural fever remedy?

 Please remember that I am just a mom that does a lot of reading and researching.  I’m not a professional nor licensed to give medical advice.  Nothing I say has been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease.  ;)

How To Use Elderflowers To Reduce Fever

You may have read my post on using elderberries as an excellent immune booster.  Do you know you can use the elderflowers as well?
Besides helping sinusitis and pollen allergies, elderflowers can also reduce fevers.
A few weeks ago, my baby ran a fever of 102.  In the past, I’ve always given tylenol if the fever got this high – you know, that’s what we’re taught, isn’t it?  It was embedded in my brain!  Work with the fever as long as it doesn’t get over 102.  This time, however, I was determined to bring her soaring fever down naturally.
Outside I went to grab some elderflowers.  I washed them, pulled the tiny flowers off the stem
and steeped them in hot water.  Be sure you don’t boil the delicate flowers and kill many of their healthy properties.  I brought one cup of water to a boil and let it sit off the burner for a few minutes before adding the flowers.  Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
How many flowers do you add?
Typically you use 1-2 tsp. of dried herbs per cup of water, so you would double that amount for fresh herbs.  Use 2-4 tsp. of fresh herb per cup of water.
Elderflowers generally only bloom for 3 weeks in the month of June, sometimes they bloom in May if the weather turns warmer earlier than normal {like it did this year!}.  You can dry elderflowers to have them on hand all year round for fevers and other ailments.If you don’t have any elderberry bushes nearby, you can purchase dried elderflowers here.

Dosage:
The suggested dosage for adults in drinking medicinal tea is 1 cup 3 times a day.  The dosage is cut in half for children, and for the baby, I gave her 1/4 cup at a time.  I’m happy to say that the elderflowers worked with her fever to help bring it down and fight the sickness in her little body!
(photo credit)

Now the tylenol issue ~ that’s a post of necessity for the near future.  Tylenol is not mama’s best friend like we’ve thought!!


This post is linked to:
Growing Home    Far Above Rubies    Time-Warp Wife    Raising 4 Princesses
Raising Mighty Arrows    Feminine Adventures    The Purposeful Mom     Like A Mustard Seed