Children in fever – how to help
Each parent should know general basic treatment and be able to help their children when the need arises, especially in case of fever.
Parents ought to know that the small children’s bodies are not able to develop the whole clinical picture of the disease and that the illness can spread rapidly in a young organism.
observe your child carefully. We should pay attention to the following symptoms:
- behaviour changes: drowsiness, anxiety, sadness, becoming moodiness
- loss of appetite
- increased body temperature: hot head, unusually flushed cheeks, sweating, shivering
- skin rash
- runny nose, coughing, hoarse voice
- touching the ear very often
- stiff neck
Children can have pharyngitis , flu or other illnesses accompanied by fever. In little children the temperature rises quickly. But for a naturopathic physicians rapidly rising high fever is less alarming than an illness without increased body temperature. Fevers are the body’s response to viruses and bacteria. They happen when those “intruders” from the outside are being fought by white blood cells. Nowadays most parents – at first symptoms of high temperature – immediately reach out for fever – reducing drugs. Natural methods supporting the processes of self-healing have been forgotten. So before you decide to administer a chemical agent to your child for lowering the body temperature, it is worth trying natural methods, such as: hydrotherapy (special body wraps – instruction below), sweat inducing, compresses, herb infusions alleviating fever and appropriate diet. Of course first we should take the child’s temperature with a thermometer. It is a good idea to discover again these methods since they don’t do any harm and when applied at the right moment they treat the problem very effectively.
Water treatment for fever
In case of fever apply hydrotherapeutic procedures such as calves wrapping, forehead compresses, whole body wrapping.
You should take two towels (linen or cotton) and dip one half of each of them in cool water. Wring out the wet parts. Then wrap first the wet and then the dry parts of the towels around the calves. Cover the legs with a woolen shawl . The compresses should cover the legs from ankles up to knees. In high fever you should change them frequently, right after they get warm, until the temperature will have visibly come down.
Whole body wrap (wrapping the body from armpits to mid-calves)
You need two linen sheets (the child’s length) and a woolen blanket to carry out the treatment. Spread a blanket and put a dry linen sheet on top of it. Soak the other sheet in water (the water temperature should be 2-3° C lower than patient’s body temperature), wring it out and put on the dry sheet. Put the patient on the wet sheet and quickly wrap it around the body. Then wrap it with dry sheet and finally with the woolen blanket. Additionally, cover the patient with a duvet to induce sweating. Sweating usually starts after about 1-1,5h. The child should sweat for about 15 minutes. Then quickly take off all the sheets, and rinse the body with a washcloth dipped in water with some added vinegar (in order to close the pores). Then dress your child and put them to bed.
If the compress is used in order to lower the temperature, you can take it off after 5-10 minutes. If you want to induce sweating, you can leave it for 1-2 hours. The treatment helps to alleviate fever, and also to eliminate the metabolic toxins as well as toxins produced by the bacteria.
Diet during fever
In case of fever it is recommended to fast. Surely you have noticed it with animals – when ill, they refuse to eat. Also when children become ill, they do not want to eat. But mothers often feed them forcefully, being convinced that the child will recover over faster if he/she eats. Instead of food give the child some herbal tea, water with honey, raw vegetable juice (e.g. fresh cucumber juice), freshly squeezed onion juice (1 teaspoon several times a day), vegetable stock. When feverish a child should not drink milk or eat dairy products. When the temperature drops below 38° C you can serve oatmeal gruel (or gruel made from other groats) boiled with water, vegetable soups, steamed or stewed vegetables.
Herbal teas during fever
Herbal formula given below alleviates fever, Herbal formula given below, alleviates fever, has diaphoretic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect and stops the development of the disease. To prepare an infusion you need:
- 2 parts lime-tree flowers (reduces high fever, diaphoretic, reduces mucus congestion)
- 2 parts elder flowers (reduces fever, diuretic)
- 1 part chamomile flowers (anti-inflammatory, carminative, painkiller)
- 2 parts raspberry fruit (reduces fever, diaphoretic)
- 1 part birch leaves (diuretic, disinfectant).
Preparation: Pour 1 glass of boiling water over 1 spoon of herbs and allow to steep for 10 minutes, covered. You can give 1 spoon 3 times a day to babies and 2-3 spoons 3 times a day to children over 1 year.
Homeopathic remedies for fever
Belladonna 200 CH – high fever, strong headaches.
Aconite 30 CH – first onset of fever, earache and dry cough.
The advice above comes from the book: Odkrywam macierzyństwo (Discovering motherhood), dr Preeti Agrawal