The following is a guest post on some alternative, natural ways to reduce fever in children. This post contains affiliate links, but opinions are in no way swayed by product endorsement.
How To Naturally Treat Fever In Kids
Anyone who has ever had kids, can tell you the same thing: they’re very prone to high fevers. Don’t worry: it’s not just your kid. Fevers are actually incredibly common in younger children and, believe it or not – there’s a scientific explanation for this. First of all, young kids get sick fairly often. Their immune systems are not yet properly developed, and neither are their hygiene habits. As soon as you put a lot of them together (for instance at school or in a playgroup), germs start circulating. But, why does every cold have to be accompanied by elevated temperature? Again, blame it on the immune system. The inexperienced immune system tends to overreact. However, there is no particular reason to worry. A fever is not harmful to the child; in fact, fevers actually help the body fight off infections. So, what exactly should you do when your little one is running a fever?
Lowering a Fever
Unless your child’s fever is making them very uncomfortable (irritable, fussy, very drowsy), there is no need to lower it. But when a fever needs lowering, here are a few tips on how to do it in a safe way. The best course of action, as recommended by our pediatrician (my kids tend to run pretty high fevers) is to give them a shower. The water should be moderately warm. Don’t use lukewarm water, in their fevered state that will feel too cold. After that, change them into light cotton clothes. If your kid wants to go back to bed, give them light covers. You don’t need to sweat a fever out under five blankets – that could lead to overheating and have the opposite effect. Also, don’t rub your child with alcohol – that can actually be dangerous. One home remedy that my mom always used to use when I was a kid was to put a grated potato in my socks. I guess it worked like a cold compress, and it was fairly effective.
No one likes having a fever. It’s usually an unpleasant experience. The best thing you can do for your child is to make them as comfortable as possible. Offer plenty of fluids – a fever can lead to serious and dangerous dehydration. When it comes to food – follow their cues. Let them eat if they want to, but don’t make them if their appetite is low. Some researchers have claimed recently that there might actually be some truth to the old saying about starving a fever. If your kid is hungry, light food such as chicken soup is your best choice. If they look and feel well enough, it’s perfectly fine to let them play or watch TV. If, on the other hand, they seem tired and want to go back to bed you can go with them and cuddle. Your presence and love will feel reassuring. Cool fresh sheets often feel very nice to a fevered body, just make sure you use natural materials. A Comfortable Latex Mattress, crisp cotton sheets with lots of pillows (especially in the case of a congested nose) and a light cover is the way to go. And don’t forget to air out the room!
When to Call the Doctor
While fevers are normally useful, contact your doctor immediately if an infant, aged 4 months or younger, has a fever of 38°C (100.4° F) or higher. For older children, the thermometer reading that warrants a call or a trip to the emergency room is 40°C (104°F). In case of fevers lower than that cut-off point, my pediatrician told me not to worry about the number, but to look at the child. Fever doesn’t need lowering unless the child is fussy, lethargic or very sleepy. High fevers or sudden spikes and drops of bodily temperature can cause febrile seizures. While they are harmless in most cases, you should still contact a doctor if one happens.
While a fever can seem very scary, it’s a normal part of childhood. Just remember not to panic and follow your instincts, and you’ll do great. Listen to your child’s needs, and if you feel worried, see a doctor for your peace of mind.
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.