2 Ways a Fever Is Good For Your Child


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.