Up to that point, I had helped hundreds of mothers with sick children help their child through a sickness without any unnecessary medical treatment. I was so confident in what I was telling them to do because I had knowledge, the training and it always helped.
As my heart is breaking for my little baby, and I felt the twinges of “worst-case-scenario” thoughts. I calmed myself and remembered the most important thing about a fever.
Fever is not an illness. It is the body’s natural response to fight infection! Fevers are actually a good thing!
DISCLAIMER! If your child is under 1 month old and has a temperature of over 100.4 degrees, or under 3 months old with a fever over 101.5, call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
For everyone else, RELAX! Fevers are healing your sweet child’s body.
A fever is the body’s natural response to invading bacteria. The best way to kill bacteria is to make the environment unlivable for the bacteria. So the body increases the temperature to rid itself of the invaders.
I know, I know. We have all learned that fevers are super scary and are the beginning of unlimited amounts of the worst illnesses. I have been there and done that! Honestly, these thoughts have been reinforced by the fact that we are encouraged by our Pediatricians to give medication to bring the fever down. Statistically, a fever is at the top of the list of 3 symptoms or conditions parents are most afraid of (meningitis and coughs are the two others). Over 5 million parents take their kids to the ER each year for fever. Brain damage, coma, and death are the consequences parents fear if a fever isn’t treated. But the facts are that those fears are very unrealistic in almost every case of fever in a child.
Remember, the fever is trying to help. I mostly hear people talk about getting rid of the fever. Why? If you “get rid” of the fever you are letting the invading bacteria take over. Often times the suppression of a fever can lead to chronic illness. Ear infections, sinus infections, strep and sore throats etc. If you will work with your body to help kill the invading bacteria those chronic ailments won’t keep coming back!
So let’s change your focus! Let’s work with a fever to overcome invading bacteria.
The most important thing to do with a fever is to keep your child HYDRATED! And of course, get some rest.
Herbs can be used to help ease the symptoms associated with a fever. Aches, headache, tummy discomforts, and chills. High fevers can be lowered a bit with these herbs. Here are some classic herbs for feverish kids that I used with my own children These are also safe for babies.
Catnip, chamomile, and lemon balm tea are relaxing, and for a high fever, they do actually bring it down just a little bit. They soothe general body aches. They also calm the tummy which is sometimes upset with fever, and they help with mild headache. The also generally promote relaxation and sleep.
Ginger tea is antiviral, antibacterial, is great for tummy troubles, and it relieves aches and pains at a level equal to ibuprofen, but without the risk of side effects.
To address the underlying cause of bacteria or virus, you can also add in age-appropriate doses of immune boosting supplements like Colloidal Silver, Grape seed extract, vitamin D, zinc, and vitamin C, as well as a probiotic for 5-10 days.
How to use Herbal Teas:
Tea is usually given in a dose of 1-2 eye dropper full to 1/4 cup to children under 1, 1/4-1 cup every few hours to toddlers and older children. For children over 1, teas can be sweetened with honey or maple syrup. Honey is excellent for treating coughs, too! (Do NOT give honey to babies under 1-year-old – it can cause infant botulism.)
- Chamomile, Catnip, and Lemon balm tea: To prepare, mix equal parts of the dried herbs and prepare according to the tea instructions below. This is very pleasant tasting and very gentle even for little babies. It soothes a tummy upset, aches, and eases fever symptoms.
- Fresh ginger root tea can quiet indigestion. Grate 1 tsp. of fresh ginger root and prepare as with other teas. Ginger tea can help fight upper respiratory infection and help sweat out a fever.
Nursing moms with feverish nursing babies can drink adult doses of these herbal remedies. Some of the benefits of the herbs will pass through the milk to the baby, but not a ton – baby can be given unsweetened herbal tea via eye dropper next to the nipple, but honestly, breastfeeding itself does the job.
Lavender essential oil can be added to a warm bath, 3-5 drops per bath, to soothe fever symptoms, but overall, baths shouldn’t really be used to cool kids down; they just get a chill when they come out. But they can be used for relaxation.
Kids can run fevers for 5-7 days. Things are improving when your child is starting to perk up and feel better. Sometimes, you’ll notice they’ve broken a sweat. Your child starts to want to get up, play more and interact, and their appetite is returning.
Remember to keep taking supplements for about 5 days or so after the fever has broken to continue to boost the immune system.
- Most fevers are viral infections.
- Babies under 3 months a visit to the doctor is critical; it may also be necessary in babies under 6 months old.
- Keep your child resting, and lots of fluids.
- Use simple herbal teas and supplements to help your child’s body do its job.
I am not a doctor and as such I am not prescribing or diagnosing. If you have concerns please see your care provider.