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Fever Fears

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Though often frightening for parents, a fever is one of your child’s best defenses against infection.  The spikes on the thermometer signal that her immune system is working to evict the bad guys.  The idea is to let the body do what it’s naturally designed to do while making your child as comfortable as possible…

Here are a few things to keep your kid comfy when he’s hot:

#1 – Make Life Easy: Try not to read too much into a fever and concentrate on keeping your child comfortable in the most natural way possible. When he feels warm, apply a cold compress. Cover him when he shivers.

#2 – Drink like a Fish: Rising body temperature means loss of water, salt and water-soluble nutrients through sweat.  Give your child frequent sips of water, herbal tea like peppermint or chamomile, diluted fruit juices, and natural juice popsicles.

#3 – School’s Out: Rest is good when your child’s body is busy fighting an infection.  But, despite high temperature, your child might still be running around and seem normal. This is fine too.  Just encourage him to rest as much as possible.

#4 – Starve the Fever: This wisdom holds true, but follow your child’s lead.  Allow him to choose what he wants to eat and when… from the healthy choices you provide, of course!  Chicken soup is a reliable standard.

#5 – Natural Remedies: Caused by nature, fevers should be allowed to recede naturally too.  Remedies should aim to ease discomfort from the fever’s symptoms.

  • Homeopathy:   A mild and unobtrusive way of dealing with fever, homeopathic remedies can make your child comfortable while letting the fever run its course.
  • Acupuncture relieves body aches that accompany a fever.
  • Supplements: Vitamin C, Echinacea, and Chinese herbal formulas such as Yin Chiao can help your child’s body fend off any virus that may be causing the fever.

#6 – Over the Counter Medicine:  Use only as a last resort if your child is extremely uncomfortable.  Ibuprofen is the safest, but use cautiously as it can irritate the stomach.  Avoid Acetaminophen/Tylenol and Aspirin which are commonly linked to liver damage and Reye’s Syndrome, respectively.

Some danger signs during fevers that warrant an immediate call to your doctor:

  • Fever in a baby younger than 3 months old.
  • Fevers above 105 degrees Farenheit.
  • Brain damage is a concern in fevers above 106 degrees Farenheit.
  • A fever lasting more than 3 days.
  • Repeated vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, extreme lethargy or unresponsiveness.

What to Know About Febrile Seizures

Between 3 – 6 months, children may demonstrate abnormal jerky movements associated with a fever.  Such episodes usually last less than 5 minutes and, though scary for most parents, are no cause for alarm.  Be sure to turn your child on his side and move nearby objects safely out of the way.  Otherwise, remain calm and understand that the seizure will pass.

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