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Dealing with Fevers

Baby Fever

By Miranda Castro, Homeopath.

A fever is a helpful and necessary part of the process of healing in a childhood illness, in any illness for that matter. During a fever the healing reactions of the body are speeded up; the heart beats faster, carrying the blood more quickly to all the organs; respiration is quicker, increasing oxygen intake: and perspiration increases, helping the body to cool down naturally. A high temperature generally indicates that the body’s defense mechanism is fighting an infection and temperature variations indicate how it is coping. Attempts to suppress or control a fever artificially with Tylenol, or even with homeopathic remedies, are likely to confuse the body’s natural efforts to heal itself. A fever is often the first symptom that your child is ill. It is best to wait for other symptoms to develop before giving a homeopathic remedy.

Each person has their own pattern of falling ill and will experience different fever symptoms. One person may feel hot with a high fever, may feel chilly and shiver. Another may be irritable, intolerant of any disturbance and need to be kept warm, whilst another may feel achey and restless, may moan and complain. One person may sweat profusely, be thirsty and slightly delirious; another may want company or prefer to be alone. Each person with a fever may need a different homeopathic remedy depending on their emotional state and general symptoms.

The average normal temperature in a healthy human is said to be 98.4˚F (37˚C), but this can vary quite markedly. Most people, adults and children, can run a fever of up to 104˚F (40˚C) for several days with no danger. It is normal for healthy infants and children to throw high fevers 103˚F (39.5˚C) and over with an infection. A temperature of 105˚F(40.5˚C) is a serious cause for concern, but it is only when it passes above 106˚F (41.0˚C) that there is a risk to life. Delirium and tantrums in children sometimes accompany high fevers and, although these are distressing, they are not dangerous.

Fevers usually peak towards night-time and drop by the following morning, so that a temperature of 104˚F (40˚C) registered in the evening may recur on subsequent evenings. A drop in temperature in the morning does not mean that the fever is past its peak. It can rise and fall several times over several days before finally returning to normal.

A child whose temperature soars may look and feel very ill, therefore giving more cause for concern, but is usually ill for a shorter time and recovers sooner than one whose temperature is lower. My friend Maggi’s youngest boy always falls ill in a sudden and dramatic fashion. With the mumps his temperature soared to 105°F within a matter of hours and he was in a lot of pain from swollen glands. We gave him Jaborandi for a day to alleviate the pain, he slept and drank a lot and was over his mumps in two days with no further assistance from us! His older sister was unwell for several days (but not feverish) before her mumps appeared! And then her temperature never rose above 100°F. She was ill for a week altogether and needed Pulsatilla to help her during the acute phase of the illness and Phosphoric acid during the convalescent stage to help her get her vitality back.

Sponge down with tepid water if the fever goes above 103˚F/104˚F (40˚C) and your child feels hot and sweaty. Expose and sponge one limb at a time until it feels cool to the touch. Dry and replace it under the covers before going on to the next limb. This will help the temperature to drop by 1-2˚F (up to 1˚C) and can be repeated as often as necessary. Sponging the face and forehead alone can also give relief. Or you can immerse a feverish but not desperately ill child in the bath from time to time to bring down a fever. In any case keep a hot, feverish child cool, and a chilly feverish child (one who feels cold to the touch and shivers) warm.

Never give a child aspirin or dispirin during or after a childhood illness as this can cause serious complications. Use Tylenol in an emergency, where the temperature rises above 104˚F (40˚C) or if your child is in pain with say, the mumps, and you don’t have a homeopathic remedy immediately to handand sponging down hasn’t provided kept the temperature down.

This article was written and submitted by Miranda Castro, FSHom, CCH. Miranda is a British homeopath who has been practicing homeopathy since 1983 and living in the US since 1994. She is author of The Complete Homeopathy Handbook, Homeopathy for Mother & Baby (aka Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby’s First Years and A Homeopathic Guide to Stress). www.mirandacastro.com

 

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Jan 25, 2011 | Category: Health and Beauty | Comments: none | Tags: , ,

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