The first time Jack got a fever I was panicked. Horrified. I thought he was going to die. I called the doctor in the middle of the night expecting him to tell me to go straight to the emergency room. Not only did he NOT advise me to go straight to the hospital, he also didn’t sound too concerned about a 103 fever at all. He asked a few questions and then said to keep my son comfortable and hydrated and to use fever reducers only if he seemed in pain or achy. I was shocked.
Now, many many MANY fevers later and less of a nervous wreck about every little thing, I have learned exactly why my doctor was not on high alert about my son’s fever. It’s because fevers are good! And after lots of research it makes perfect sense why they are good. Here is the skinny:
A fever is the body’s natural defense against illness or infection. Illnesses thrive at your body’s regular temperature, so our miracle immune system steps in and raises our temp to fight the illness. It’s pretty amazing and shows that you have a LO with a strong immune system that is hard at work. The higher body temperature kills off the infection or virus much faster, so by using fever reducers we are actually prolonging the process and making the illness stick around even longer. We are not helping. Obviously fever reducers have their purposes, like if your baby is acting like they feel miserable and achy and need some pain relief. This is a good time to decide whether to give some Tylenol or Motrin. But for just a fever, you would actually be making the virus thrive for longer by treating a fever. That’s why I am very careful these days about when I give my little guy his meds. Usually I want to let the fever do it’s very important job, and we almost always try not to medicate unless he needs medicine to be comfortable.
When You Need a Doctor:
A majority of fevers are caused by a simple virus. These fevers can get up to around 104 degrees in children and be considered safe. Word of caution about running to a hospital: It can usually be a negative thing. Hospitals have so much illness and disease you may end up leaving with a child who caught another cold in his weakened state. It should always be a last resort, and usually the pediatrician on call can advice you when it is necessary to head to a hospital. Again, your mommy instincts know best so listen to them above all.
Reasons to call a doctor:
– Any fever over 104 in children
– Children under 3 months should not get above 100.4
– Fever lasting more than 2 days
– Any trouble breathing or labored breathing sounds (Your little one may need a breathing treatment)
– Vomiting consistently and showing signs of dehydration (Remember to always hydrate with Homemade Pedialyte)
– Listless and not acting themselves in a way that you are alarmed
– If you suspect poisoning
– Mothers intuition: You absolutely know best. Follow your gut, it’s never wrong
What can we do for our sickies instead of medicine:
Well, if they are crying and achy and uncomfortable, give them medicine. But, if they are being a little sport and truckin’ along through their sickness, let the fever work it’s magic and just keep LO comfortable and happy. Checklist:
– Fluids up the yin yang. Lots and lots. They might not have an appetite but fluids are what they really need anyways. Try water, watered down juice, homemade pedialyte and coconut water.
– Probiotics and/or Collodial Silver are 2 that I have never used but have been so highly recommended that I am using them next time without a doubt.
– Bone Broth – Here is my homemade recipe. It will change your life, and the lives of those around you. If you are sick this is the way to get better, and it will help immediately.
– Warm steamy baths – This is such a great one. It helps open the airways before they go to sleep, helps unblock the nasal canal, nothing bad to say about this one.
– Onions – This is where you think “crazy lady” but I swear I have heard this trick from every mom around and when I finally tried it I have to say I feel it worked. Onions have been used for centuries to help fight flu, illness and even the plague. This may be too out there for some but if it can’t hurt you and it’s cheap, why not mention it. It’s easy: Slice an onion in half and place it in a bowl next to the bed or crib of the sick person. If you want to take it a step further you can put a few onion slices in your socks against the souls of your feet at night. If you google this remedy you will see lots of doctors laughing about it and lots of moms swearing by it. So it’s up to you. 🙂
– Saline and Suction – This is an obvious one, and my least favorite because it seems to cause an Oscar performance from Jack that is so intense that I feel he gets blocked right back up again from crying. If you have a miracle child who smiles in the face of suction, this is a great remedy for you.
Good luck mommies, sickness isn’t fun and you know best so follow your instincts.