“Give me a fever, and I can cure any illness”
I have provided you with information to know how to handle your child’s fever safely, effectively, and as naturally as possible. To do this you will need to to recognize warning signs and when to seek proper medical attention.
Fever from a Naturopathic perspective
Naturopathic treatment is to support a fever, unless it rises too high or too quickly. A fever of 39 C (102.2 F) to 39.4 (103 F) is considered the optimal defense against microbes. This temperature range also heals the body most effectively. Fever is not a disease. It is the way your child body fights off disease.
Functions of fever:
- To stimulate the immune system
- To create an inhospitable environment for invading organisms
The benefits of fever:
- Increased antibodies – cells that attack the exact type of invader your body is fighting
- Increased white blood cells – cells that circulate and fight off microbes
- INCREASED INTERFERON – BLOCKS THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES TO HEALTHY CELLS
- Increased temperature that directly kills microbes including bacteria and viruses
When to seek medical attention
- Infants less than 6 weeks old, with a temperature greater than 38 C (100.4. F).
- Continue to breastfeed while waiting for treatment
- Breastmilk has antibodies that help your infant fight disease
- Infants from 1-3 months, with a temperature greater than 38 C (100.4 F), if they appear ill
- Children between 3-46 months, with a temperature over 39 C (102.2 F), if they appear ill
- Anyone with a temperature over 41 C (105.8 F)
Naturopathic Treatment for Fever
For fever 106 degrees F and above:
- Tepid bath
- Cold compress to head and neck.
- Ice pack placed over the heart.
- Fresh, cool (60 degrees to 65 degrees) air in room
- Cool water (60 degrees to tap temperature) taken by mouth can promote sweating
For fever between 103-105 degrees F:
- Hot blanket pack of 5 to 10 minutes duration: This will reduce chilliness and initiate heat dissipating mechanisms
- Short hot bath or repeating hot sponging to bring blood to the surface
- Hot evaporating sheet bath
- Cold compress to head and neck
- Ice pack placed over the heart
- Fresh cool (60-65 degrees F) air in room
- Cool water (60 degrees F or tap temperature) taken by mouth to promote sweating
For a mild fever between 99-103 degrees F:
- Treatment goal is to encourage fever
- Hot foot bath with blanket pack, to elevate temperature
- Finish by pouring cold water over feet
- Hot water and/or diaphoretic herbal tea to promote sweating
Diaphoretic Herbs – herbs that encourage sweating
- Zingiber officinale (ginger) root
- Achillea millefolum (yarrow) herb
- Sambucus Canadensis (elder) flower
- Tilia x vulgaris (linden) flower
Management of Fever – Overview
- Prevent dehydration – encourage child to drink plenty of cool fluids including water, herbal tea and vegetable broth
- Herbal teas including chamomile, catnip, ginger or yarrow
- Monitor temperature frequently
- Promote perspiration and bring down moderate to high temperature by giving child a fever-reducing herbal tea (chamomile and peppermint)
- Beneficial herbs can be absorbed through the skin. Pour several cupfuls of fever-reducing tea into tepid bath water
- For fever of 103-105 degress Farenheit apply a hot blanket to the childs body for 5-10 minutes. This will reduce chilliness and initiat heat dissipating mechanisms.
- Short hot bath or repeat hot sponging to bring blood to the surface.
- Cold compress to head and neck
- Warming socks – See tips for boosting immunity and preventing H1N1. Warming socks. Take 2 pairs of socks. With one pair wet with cold water and wring out, please on the childs feet. Take dry wool or cotton socks and put on top of the cold wet cotton socks. Put child to bed. Check on child’ feet to insure there feet have warmed up 5-10 minutes after wearing. If they have not warmed up, then remove the socks. Some children will need their feet warmed with warm water before applying the wet cold socks.
“Liquid diets suit all persons with fever, but especially children”