Here are the top 7 effective ways to treat a fever naturally.
Parents always know the signs, first you child comes home with a runny nose that turns into a cough that keeps you up all night. Then they become irritable and start running a fever. Oh no! better grab the Tylenol or fever reducer. Oh no! is right, you should never try to reduce a child's fever right away with a pain reliever. You always want to treat the child not the fever. You want to make sure you are doing everything to aide your child's body to recover not stop it's natural healing methods in its tracks.
Hold on, fevers are bad, and scary right? No, not if you understand how important they are to your child's recovery. When a Child's immune system is compromised by infection the immune system alerts the brain to turn up the heat. When the body temperature rises it creates an environment in which the pathogens cannot thrive which allows the immune system to fight off the infection. The rise in temperature signals the immune system to create white blood cells which are your bodies line of defense against foreign invaders.
Most fevers are caused by common ailments. Viruses such as a cold or the flu which simply need to run their course and cannot be helped by antibiotics. Also by bacterias such as ear infections and sinus infections which might need antibiotics but can also be cured by other natural means. You should always check with your child's doctor at any sign of infection and use your mother's intuition especially in these situations.
- Your child is less than 6 weeks old and has a fever over low grade (low grade meaning 100.4 and under)
- If your child has a high grade fever of 104 or higher (not neccesarilly dangerous but take precaution)
- If your child is lethargic, lifeless, extremely irritable, or has a stiff neck or pain in their neck
When you really think about and understand what a fever does why would you want to stop that process. I understand as a parent it can be difficult to see your little one in distress, trust me I know. But it is a known fact that reducing a fever too soon will always prolong the illness. In fact a temperature of 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal range needed to kill the microbes creating the illness.
Now that we know Fevers pose no threat let's get to the healing process. Here are 5 ways to help aide not treat your child's fever naturally.
1.Get plenty of Fluids
Whether it is caused by diarrhea, vomiting, or the fever itself dehydration is very serious and can occur. You want to be sure your child is staying hydrated especially if they have cold sweats and are losing fluids. I've found the best way to hydrate and aide your child's illness all in one is herbal teas with honey. *Please note you should not give honey to an infant less than 1 year of age and some herbal tea may or may not be suitable for some ages. If your child is less than 1 year of age please be sure to breastfeed on demand or provide your child with a high quality organic formula option. I always give my little one Organic ginger and turmeric tea with honey. The honey will soothe any irritation in the throat caused by a cough or cold and the ginger and turmeric are both anti inflammatory, detoxifying, and have antibiotic and antioxidant properties. Another alternative if your child does not like the taste of tea is adding a bit of Organic Turmeric Powder into their milk or breast milk creating a drink known as Golden Milk. This milk has been used in India for centuries as a part of Ayurvedic medicine practices. I would never give a child Gatorade, Powerade, pedialyte, or other electrolyte enhancing drinks other than water or coconut water because they are full of sugars and artificial ingredients which will counteract the healing process.
2.Encourage sleep, rest, or limited activity
Rest is the best way to allow the body to do its thing. The most powerful healing takes place while your child is at rest therefore you should encourage sleep and try to limit activity. As a mother with a normally very active child sometimes it is hard to get her to settle down even when she is sick so we always grab her favorite books and a blanket and head to the couch for some read and relax time.
3.Dress them accordingly
If you child has a fever you want to be sure you are not creating a warmer environment then what is necessary.By covering your child up in a warm blanket or putting on too many layers you can artificially increase the temperature just as you can artificially decrease it. The body will regulate the child's temperature all on its own so be sure to dress your child in light clothing to let the heat escape. If you child has cold sweats and shivers use a light sheet instead of a blanket.
4.Use wet or Damp cloths
A we said lowering the body temp artificially or too quickly is not beneficial and in some cases can be worse for your child. Never under any circumstance give your child a cold bath in hopes of reducing a fever. Will it work? Yes most likely but it can also cause more harm than good. Submerging your child in a cold bath is an extreme and rapid way to release heat from the body, one that can cause seizures, a spike in temperature following the bath and compromises the immune system. Instead apply Luke warm facecloths to the extremities such as the neck, forehead, arms, and feet. This can help to lower the fever but not completely reduce it allowing the fever to go away naturally when the body is ready.
5.Adjust their Diet
Most Doctors would suggest you follow the BRAT diet which is recommended for children and adults who are suffering from a cold or flu virus. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, but I believe there are way better options. Bone broth is a great clear liquid that can take the place of food if your little one has a less than normal appetite. it's full of nutrients that are easily digestible and allows your body the much needed break from digestion while it repairs itself. Other clear liquids and soup such as chicken noodle are fine too. Fruit smoothies are also another great way to get your body the nutrients it needs in an easy to digest way. These can be very simple and include things such as apples, pineapples, mangoes, etc. Don't be afraid to add some greens like spinach, cucumbers, and celery. I would stay away from any mucus producing foods such as bananas, yogurt, milk, and cheese.
Elderberry can be a great way to boost the immune system and in turn will help fight infection thus naturally reducing the need for a fever. Elderberry is a medicinal berry know for its healing properties during the cold and flu season. Studies have shown that the use of elderberry immediately following symptoms has led to a dramatically reduced length of sickness. There are also other safe and effective herbs for use in children.
7. Homeopathic Herbal Remedies
There are several trusted homeopathic companies that are making herb buying easy. What mom doesn't want the convenience of a bottled remedy minus all the junk and artificial stuff. I have a few products that I've tried with my little sprout that I love. Some of these products I use year round, others when she is sick or has a fever. Some essential oils used with caution are a great alternative for children. Peppermint oil cooling effects added to a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba can be applied to the bottom of the feet to naturally reduce the heat. I always suggest applying anything with menthol to a child's feet and not neck as it can be overwhelming on a child's lungs.
Take a look at these homeopathic remedies below
- Kids Relief "Pain and Fever" by Homeolab
- "Temp Assure" by Herbs For Kids
- "Children's ACF Immune Support" Liquid herbal Supplement by Buried Treasure
- "Immunable" kid's immunity probiotics by Nature's Way
PS. Don't Forget Lots of Cuddles and Love
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