Kinetic Patterns Health Blog

vancouver naturopathic doctors blog

Treating Your Child’s Fever Naturally
by Doctor Melanie MacIver

Fevers are a natural defense against infectious agents: viral, bacterial or environmental.  Teething may also cause a low fever (<101°) Most fevers are beneficial to a child and caused by viruses, and rarely exceed 104-105°

Treat the child, not the fever. Consider how the child is acting- mood, activity level, are they playing, are they eating? Don’t rush fever suppressing drugs to children as soon as you see a small increase in temperature. Low-grade fevers are helpful in fighting off infection, so treat a fever when it is making your child miserable.  Don’t withhold fever medication if your child is suffering, acetaminophen at the right dose is very well tolerated and will help your child sleep and feel better. Dr. Sears says a fever doesn’t cause damage until over 105°, and this is very rare, usually caused by toxins or heatstroke.

Natural fever support: A sponge bath in warm water will help reduce a fever. Put the child in a few inches of warm water and use a sponge or washcloth to wet the skin of the body and arms and legs. The water itself does not cool the child, the evaporation of the water off the skin does

Prevent dehydration: Encourage the child to drink clear fluids such as juice, water with electrolytes, chicken soup, breastmilk etc.

Herbal Tea:  Tea is an excellent way to give herbs while keeping a feverish child hydrated and nourished.  Elderflower and  tilia increase sweating to help manage hot fevers, and ginger is warming for chills. Other helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, rosemary and peppermint. Honey can be added to the tea if the child is over one year, if necessary. My daughter loves drinking herb teas, and I never add any honey.

Ferrum Phosphoricum cell salts (homeopathic) are useful to bring down a fever. For high fevers, give once every 15 minutes to half hour until the fever starts going down. Thereafter, give 3-4 times per day until the fever dissipates. You can put the pellets in water and sip, or directly in the mouth. (dissolve very easy)

Try some lavender essential oil in cool water and dip a cloth in and wipe on child’s forehead for a cooling relaxing effect

Taking a temperature: If your baby is less than 3 months of age, take a rectal temperature

•Ear thermometers are not very reliable for children less than 6 months of age, or for temperatures over 102° F

•If your baby is bundled, this can cause an elevated temperature. Unwrap your baby and retake the temperature in a half hour

Go to the hospital or see your doctor right away

  • If a child under the age of three months develops a fever
  • If your child is convulsing or hallucinating
  • If your child’s fever has not changed in over three days
  • If your child has rapid or shallow breathing
  • If your child is complaining of stiff neck
  • If your child has repeated vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • If your child’s fever is 104 F or over orally or 103 F in the armpit
  • If you have a feeling that something is wrong, or you don’t feel comfortable with the situation

If you need fever medication: I recommend acetomenophen (Tylenol) to body weight.  There is a chart on the bottle, often half the dose is effective. Never give asprin.

Disclaimer:  reading this article does not take the place of seeking medical consultation. If you are not sure- go to the doctor!

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