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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fevers. what do they mean.

~At one time or another you or your child will have a fever. Before you rush to your medicine cabinet for Tylenol, please understand exactly what a fever is and what it means in your child's body:





What causes a childhood fever in kids?

Fever in infants and children is a natural defense against infectious agents: viral, bacterial or environmental. Most fevers are beneficial to a child and caused by viruses, with others caused by bacteria.  Fevers are a raise in body temperature, which raises the white cell blood count which is a mechanism in fighting infection. Therefore a fever is a good infection fighter. These fevers usually don't exceed 104-105° and won't harm the infant or child according to doctors.  First a foremost, keep your child HYDRATED with water.
Babies Under 3mos-fever over 101 should be sent to the hospital immed. something is going on
Children 3-18mos can tolerate a fever up to 103.  But the fever should be managed. (see below for remedies to manage fevers naturally)

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn and Dr. William Sears state a fever doesn't damage until over 105°, but these are exceptionally rare, usually caused by toxins or heatstroke.
This is why many medical professionals are beginning to encourage parents to not rush fever suppressing drugs to their children. Even over-the-counter, fever-reducing drugs have toxic effects given in wrong doses and have been shown to prolong the fever-causing illness by suppressing the child's natural healing process.
So to put it straight, meds to bring fevers down stop your body from doing it's job. Of course in the case of babies or fevers that are just not going away, please see your doctor.
In most cases, your infant's fever should be left alone. Fever serves a very useful purpose and is the body's ally in fighting infection. There are a few natural remedies, however, that are safe for babies that will help your little one feel more comfortable.

What can I do to help a child's fever at home?

Herbs – Elder flower and yarrow increase sweating to help manage hot fevers, give them this in a tincture form, while ginger has warming effects to help manage fever with chills. Tea is an excellent way to administer herbs while keeping a feverish child hydrated and nourished. Helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, red clover, rosemary and peppermint. Lemon juice or honey can be added to the tea (never give honey to infants under one year).
Essential Oils – Lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, pine, rosemary and sage essential oils are beneficial for feverish children and also help support the immune system to support the body's defenses instead of suppressing them. Drop some lavender essential oil in cool water and use a washrag to wipe a child's forehead for a cooling, relaxing effect.

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