As a newer Mom I’ve discovered the intense feeling of panic when your sweet baby is sick. It’s always scary and unsettling when your little one gets a fever. They’re hot to the touch, lethargic and feeling pretty crappy. You immediately want to make them more comfortable and figure out what exactly is going on.
While it is tempting to give them Children’s Motrin or Tylenol to bring the fever down, this is definitely not what I recommend. Fever is your FRIEND! A fever is the body’s natural response help fight an infection. Your immune system heats your body up to an environment where the invader cannot survive. This is a sign that the immune system is functioning well and is on top of things before you even knew there was a problem!
Taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) like Ibuprofen for too long can be downright harmful to your children. Taken for just as little as 5 days in a row can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome, gastritis and even severe stomach ulcers. Tylenol has been associated with liver toxicity and can increase the risk of developing asthma. And both of these over the counter medications will only bring the fever down by a degree or so, yet delay healing and increase the duration of the illness.
I’ve taken Dr. Aviva Romm’s e-course recently called Healthy All Year (from Healthiest Kids University). It is filled with great information about children’s illnesses, natural remedies to boost immunity and is loaded with herbal recipes to have on hand. I highly recommend the course for all parents!
This post is about Fever specifically. She really breaks it down to where it is easy to understand and not so scary after all. Of course, there is time for concern, as described below in the When To Call The Doctor section. I think this is great information for all Mommas to have on hand for those scary times when our little ones get sick. This is what Dr. Aviva Romm has to say on fever.
Symptoms of Fever
• A fever is anything above 100.4
• A moderate fever is 101-103.5
• A high fever is anything over 103.5
• The temperature ranges that tell you there’s a fever:
• Rectal: anything above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius
• Oral: anything above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius
• Axillary or armpit: anything above 99 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.2 degrees Celsius
• Ear: anything above 100.4 or 38
• Forehead: anything above 100.4 or 38
When to call the doctor
• Babies under 3 months should be seen by a physician for any fever
• Babies under 6 months if they have a high fever, over 103.5 degrees
• Any child if they have a high fever, over 104 degrees unless it comes down fast with treatment
• Kids who are not taking fluids or not urinating a normal amount or they’re just not acting right should be seen
• If there’s a stiff neck, persistent vomiting or severe headache, which can be meningitis, severe ear pain or belly pain
• They don’t seem fully able to wake up, they seem weak or limp or they can’t make eye contact
• Children of any age who have had recurrent fevers for more than 7 days, even if the fever lasts only a few hours
If you feel like your child needs to be seen, then go get seen!
• Simplify the diet: remove dairy, sugar, heavy foods; add simple nourishing foods
• Make sure your child is getting fluids (Electrolyte Replacement Drink, Herbal Ice Pops)
Practical Things You Can Do
If they have a high fever and you want to reduce it, the goal is to keep it between 100.4 and 102 degrees.
• Create a calm and peaceful environment and use basic techniques like removing excess clothing or blankets to help your child feel more comfortable
• Try a lukewarm bath or a sponge bath – NOT a cold bath
• Try an Herbal Steam or a Detox Bath
• Let your child rest as much as possible
• You can add in age appropriate doses of immune boosting supplements like vitamin D, zinc, and vitamin C, as well as a probiotic for 5-10 days
Best Herbal Remedies (Recipes in the course)
• Children’s Compound
• Cool Down Tea
• Mama Rabbit’s Easy Does It Tea
• Calm Spirit Kids
What To Expect
• A fever can last for a number of days
• They can last and go up and down for even as much as a week
• The biggest risk with fever is dehydration