It’s a widely known fact in the world of wellness that suppressing fevers does little more than provide comfort + possibly prolong illness unnecessarily. Not to mention the common drug of choice for fever reduction, tylenol, is incredibly taxing on the liver + depletes glutathione, an antioxidant present in the body + one that is necessary for detoxification. Rather than suppress, consider letting the fever do it’s thing. Fever plays an important role in the immune system + in fighting off illness.
Here are some things you can focus on instead:
Fevers are a protective mechanism and sign that your immune system is engaged and working in fighting off the bad guys. A fever is a GOOD thing, and helps the body fight infection.
Certain organisms need an ideal temperature to survive. A fever helps make your body unsuitable to foreign invaders.
The only reason to reduce your child's fever is for comfort.
Pay attention to how your child is behaving (are they eating and drinking? Voiding an appropriate amount of times? How is their mental state?) rather than the number on the thermometer. I've seen kids VERY sick with a 101 fever, and others seem to just be very sleep with a fever of 103.
Fevers between 100 and 104 are good for sick children. It's important to challenge the immune system every now and then. Most fevers from infection don't go above 103 or 104. They rarely got o 105 or 106. While fevers this high can be scary, they are also generally harmless.
Benefits of a Fever:
Raising of body temperature kills many microorganisms and has an adverse effect on the growth and replication of others. Viruses and bacteria actually grow best at temperatures lower than that of the human body.
Increased temperature causes lysosomal breakdown and auto-destruction of cells thus preventing viral replication in infected cells.
Heat increases white blood cell formation and motility, thus facilitating the immune response. The white blood cells, which carry out the destruction of the invaders, get where they are needed faster and do their job more efficiently.
Phagocytosis (cellular clean up) is enhanced and production of antiviral interferon may be augmented.
When a fever is concerning:
A fever (at any temperature) in an infant under 3 months of age could be the result of a bacterial infection which could become life threatening very quickly.
A feverish child who is lethargic and/or difficult to awaken.
A child with fever and a stiff neck or one who cries when moved or touched.
If the child experiences a febrile seizure (only 4% of children).
High fever for a prolonged period of time can cause brain damage, however the fever would have to be over 108°F. Fevers don't usually get this high on their own, rather are caused due to environmental factors such as a hot car.
Ways I like to manage fever at home:
cool compress to forehead.
Peppermint essential oil, diluted and applied to bottoms of feet or up and down the spine.
Keep them hydrated by offering sips of whatever drink they can tolerate.
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