Fever

FEVER : ” IT AIN’T HALF HOT MUM ”

Why fever is a helpful ‘friend’, and not a scary ‘enemy’.

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 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 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 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.

Guidance here

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 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.

    HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR FEVER

    ACONITE

    Sudden onset , high temperature, dryness, restlessness, thirst for cold water, may be fearful and panicky.

    Worse or starts around midnight, may wake with fever and nightmare.

    May throw off bedclothes

    Sensitive to noise and pain, tearful with fever

    BELLADONNA

    Sudden onset,  hot, throbbing, red face/ body/ and / or ears, radiating heat , hot head, glazed eyes, Cool or cold extremities, lack of thirst or wants lemons/lemonade.

    May be delirium .

    Sometimes nausea and vomiting,

    Tonsils, neck and glands in abdomen may be swollen

    Pupils dilated., may be delirium

    Symptoms often right sided

    Sensitive to noise, light, pain

    Suits happy easy going children who become difficult and obstinate when ill and are then prone to tantrums.

    Tend to be angry ( Aconite tend to be fearful ) and may hit out.

    May be worse around 3pm or 3am

    May come on after getting a chill especially to head ( e.g after hairwash ) or after too much sun.

CHAMOMILLA

Heat and chills alternate or one part feels  hot and another cold .

Irritable mood, nothing satisfies, contrary, wants to be carried. Trying to pacify makes  them worse. Touching, looking at or speaking to them can send them into frenzy.

Commonly needed in teething and earache. one cheek may be pale and the other red.

Generally  worse in the  evening  and before midnight. ( Aconite worse around midnight and Belladonna  sweaty, clammy  ( Belladonna and Aconite either don’t break out in sweat with fever or only sweat on covered parts.)

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

‘’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.’’

More information here

RED FLAGS

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.

MENINGITIS

The main symptoms of meningitis (both bacterial and viral) are similar and include:

  • High temperature

  • Severe headache

  • Vomiting

  • Stiff neck

  • Aversion to light

  • Drowsiness

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 )

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