Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Dreaded Fever!

This week i've been seeing an increased number of sick kids coming to the clinic. With many childhood illnesses, one of the most common symptoms is fever. I know this is a huge concern for parents, but fevers are one of the most feared and misunderstood mechanisms in the body. I encourage parents to think of fevers as a good thing. They are your child’s tool at fighting infection! It raises their internal temperature to help kill the virus or bacteria, and usually only last a day or two. It is a natural and protective mechanism, and is more frightening than harmful. Parents oftern run for the tylenol prematurely, feeling like suppressing the fever is 'treating' the illness. This is not the case. We WANT the child to have a fever, and we want to manage it within a ‘comfort zone’ that is age appropriate. We don’t want to suppress a fever, but rather keep the child comfortable by offering lots of fluids, a cool cloth, a luke-warm bath or the appropriate supplements to support them. Contact your Naturopath when your child has a fever, as they will provide you with the guidance and support you may feel you need while managing the fever!
Kids may lose their appetite during a fever. Don’t push solids, just ensure plenty of liquids. Helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, red clover, rosemary and peppermint. We lose heat through the skin, so dress your child appropriately to their temperature. Call your doctor if your child’s fever lasts more than 3 days or has concerning symptoms of lethargy, changes in behavior, stiff neck, difficulty breathing, constant vomiting/diarrhea, has developed a rash, is inconsolable or has a fever above:

Infants under 3 months: fever over 38.5 C (101.4 F)

3 months – 2 years old: fever over 39 C (103 F)

Over 2 years old: fever over 40 C (104 F)

Note: Teething rarely causes a fever above 38.5 C (101.4 F).

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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