Fevers in Children
Fevers are one of the most common reasons that parents seek medical attention for their children. Yet, few parents know that fevers are beneficial to your child and not a danger! In most cases, fever requires NO TREATMENT and your child will even get well faster if you do nothing.
Fever is simply a signal that your body's immune system has increased its response, probably to fight off a virus or bacterial infection. The fever itself is necessary for your child's body to get better. The fever itself is not dangerous.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, on his health and wellness website, suggests that parents avoid the use of anti-fever medications unless the fever is over 105 degrees (http://mercola.com/2001/jun/13/fevers.htm).
Most parents worry that fever will do some damage to their child. They have heard that children can have seizures if their temperatures go above 105 degrees. Few children actually do experience what doctors call febrile seizures, which occur in less than 4% of children under five years of age. Administering fever-reducing drugs has NEVER been shown to reduce the incidence of seizures. Also, seizures are usually caused by a rapid rise in temperature, not from a high fever as some believe. In addition, studies show that febrile seizures do not cause any kind of brain damage in children.
A febrile seizure is simply a way for the brain to let of steam, so to speak. Kind of like a release valve that can be opened to reduce pressure thats building up. A febrile seizure can be frightening for a parent to watch, especially a parent who has not prepared themselves to expect such an occurance and accept it as normal. However, just hold your child and let the seizure pass. They can last between five and fifteen minutes, although most last less than five minutes. Studies show that these seizures do no damage, and that children with a history of febrile seizures even do better than their peers on standardized testing!
The body has an internal mechanism which will not allow the fever to go as high as 107 degrees. Fever is helpful because it increases the amount of interferon in the blood, as well as raising the number of white blood cells available to destroy bacteria and infected cells. Fever also impairs the ability of many bacteria and viruses to multiply. By allowing the fever to run its course, and by not giving fever reducing drugs, you assist the body in getting well faster.
What should I do when my child has a fever?
1. Tuck them into bed.
2. Make sure they get plenty of cool, purified water. Dehydration alone can drive fever higher.
3. Replace water soluble vitamins that may be lost during sweating, etc. Namely B's and C.
4. Try not to give fluids which contain sugar. This is the favorite meal of bacteria.
5. Bathing children in cool water does not bring down fever. But you can do it make them more comfortable.
6. Never give aspirin to a child with a fever. Doing so could result in the child contracting Reye's Syndrome.
7. If your child is not hungry, do no make them eat.
to being with the child for an extended period of time to give comfort
so they will remain
calm and rest.
treatment anytime someone in my family has an infection of any kind is
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Also, don't be alarmed. There are many things which can cause a temperature to rise. Some are: teething, transfusion reactions, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, tumors, inflammatory reactions caused by trauma, medications (including some antihistamines, antibiotics, or an overdose of aspirin), immunizations, and dehydration.
So, don't feel you must rush your child to the doctor. The body was created with the innate wisdom to know how to heal itself. Rarely does a trip to the doctor accomplish anything when it is just a simple fever that is involved.
One caution I do
have: if your child has just been given immunizations, monitor
condition closely. It's not the fever that is dangerous.....it's
the side effects from the immunizations, which can be dangerous and
deadly. I plead with parents not to give immunizations to
their children, and to find out about their deadly consequences.
See my page Immunizations:
Assault on the Human Immune System .
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