In the following exhortation we attempt at answering the questions surrounding FEVER and what it means when a child gets one.
Conventional doctors have been taught to treat every symptom that comes to their attention. For instance, medication is often prescribed to reduce childhood fever.
Yet fever is the body's mechanism for destroying viruses and bacteria. "If we do no more than take the edge off the fever to make the child comfortable," says Dr. Smith,
"we may be prolonging the illness."
Alternative therapies take a different approach. Their goal is to bolster and support the child's immune system so that it can learn to recognize and respond quickly to any
invading organisms. In fact, according to Dr. Moskowitz, certain childhood infections may be valuable in challenging the child's immune system and consequently strengthening it.
He believes it is important for the child to contract certain diseases for this very reason.
During his thirty years of practice, Dr. Smith has found that if parents are able to lower fever temporarily with fever-reducing medicines such as Children's Tylenol and a comfortable
hot bath (96 F), then the underlying illness was most likely an innocuous virus. However, if such remedies are unable to control the fever and the child's distress, parents believe that
they need to take their children to be examined by a family physician or pediatrician.
As an alternative to aspirin or tylenol, homeopathic remedies for fever and sickness are useful, safe, inexpensive and have no side effects, says Dr. Smith. In addition, he adds, many
herbal preparations, such as echinacea
, not only enhance the immune system but act as antimicrobials, killing both bacteria and viruses. In most cases, he feels that antibiotics are not
required. Besides, antibiotics fight only bacteria, not viruses. When antibiotics are used during a viral infection, the prescribing doctor may be trying to avert a secondary bacterial infection.
Dr Moskowitz sees fever as one of the basic acute responses of a child to any kind of outside influence that might make him or her sick. According to Dr. Moskowitz, producing a fever is one
of the signs of a healthy child. As children's immune sytems develop, they are able to respond acutely and vigorously to infections, which, according to Dr. Moskowitz, is the best way to deal
with the situation. If parents are worried as to whether or not a fever or infection should be treated by a doctor, Dr. Moskowitz believes that the best thing to do is for them to ask themselves:
How sick is the child ? What is the child doing during this fever ? Is the child vomiting, howling in pain, not eating or not responding at all ? Or is the child playing video games or making mischief
with a sibling ? Dr.Moskowitz answers that if the child seems to be coping, the parents may feel confident that the child's immune system will be able to handle the illness with the help of
homeopathic remedies. The remedies Dr.Moskowitz recommends do not take away fever, but rather help the immnue system to finish it's job of healing. These remedies may include Aconite, Belladonna,
Ferrum Phosphate, Gelsemium, Pulsatilla and Bryonia.
Dr. Sodhi also considers a fever below 102 F to be beneficial in a child, and he does not like to give children medication such as aspirin or tylenol for it. He does recommend a light, nutritious diet, and
cold sponging or homeopathic remedies such as Belladona, Aconite and Sulfur. He points out that sometimes a fever can be a reaction of fear or anger on the part of the child, and in these cases, it is
helpful for the parent to spend time talking or playing quietly with the child.
According to Dr. Ni, traditional Chinese medicine treats a fever by inducing sweating and treating the accompanying infection. A hot bath can be used to induce a fever.
David Hoffman believes that a fever may be beneficial in a young child, and that a low-grade fever does not need to be reduced. The child should be given a lot of support and comfort along with plenty
of fluids. Herbal teas such as peppermint, elder flower
and even yarrow
will help the body cope with the fever, but will not surpress it the way aspirin does. If one wants to bring the fever down, he offers medowsweet,
but he suggests that the parents seek advice from a skilled practitioner.
A) A high fever can cause severe brain damage. Check with a professional medical expert before deciding how best to respond to a fever.
B) Self treatment of any serious illness should always be with the supervision of a health specialist.