The information that follows applies to children over the age of 3 mths.
N.B. Babies birth to 3 months: medical advice should be sought if the temperature rises to any degree above normal.
Medically speaking, a fever is present with temperatures above 98.6°F ( 37 ) with an oral thermometer or above 99.8°F (37.6 ) with a rectal thermometer.
It can be worrying when your child develops a fever, but I am going to share the information which, I hope, will reassure you
The most important information to take on board regarding fevers is ;
- Most fevers are harmless and should be seen as allies, not enemies.
- Fevers of 104 F ( 40c ) may cause some discomfort but will not harm. ( Stanford Childrens’ Hospital )
- In, general fever does not need to be treated ( conventionally or homeopathically )
- Fever is a useful bodily reaction to fight viral or bacterial infection and shows that the immune system is working well. In order for the fever to do what it was intended to do and help the body heal itself :
- Avoid using cold compresses/ sponging to lower the body temperature.
The use of anti-pyretic ( fever ) reducing medication such as Calpol or Tylenol is discouraged by the medical profession.
How to Manage Fever
During fever all the healing reactions of the body are speeded up: the heart beats faster carrying the blood more quickly to all the organ, perspiration may increase, allowing the body to discharge toxic waste through the skin.
Be Guided by Your Child :
- some children have relatively high temperatures but are well in themselves and this is a good sign.
- Some children feel unwell with a low temperature.
- Discourage eating but encourage drinking water or juices. Offer nutritious, easily digestible foods once the fever passes.
- Sleepiness is also common, particularly with a higher temperature and is another important part of the healing process. ( please see Meningitis symptoms below )
- Frequent taking of the child’s temperature can cause anxiety, so try taking just once a day, around the same time. Temperatures sometimes rise more in the evening.
- No homeopathic remedy should simply be given to reduce the temperature in fever. As long as the patient is not in distress then allow the fever to do its work in fighting infection. If there are specific accompanying symptoms eg cough, earache, then suitable and appropriate homeopathic remedies can be given.
- When a body has dealt with a virus / pathogen previously it will recognize it when it meets it again meaning that it will activate its immune system and defend itself very quickly. Often a child will have a raised temperature for a while but nothing will develop and this can mean that the body has successfully dealt with the ‘attack’.
‘’Febrile seizures are fits that can happen when a child has a fever. They most often happen between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.
It can be frightening and distressing to see your child having a seizure, particularly if it’s their first seizure.
However, these seizures are usually harmless and almost all children make a complete recovery afterwards.’’
The absence of thirst can lead to dehydration. Encourage the child to take small amounts of fluid regularly. Breastfeeding babies should be offered the breast frequently and Mum should increase her fluid intake.
The main symptoms of meningitis (both bacterial and viral) are similar and include:
- High temperature
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Aversion to light
The most commonly known symptom of meningitis is a distinctive rash, although this does not affect everyone and may not be visible when the other symptoms develop. If a rash develops, it is important to use a glass to press on the rash – if it does not fade, immediate medical help should be sought. ( Great Ormond Street Hospital )