Fever – A Wonderful Blessing in Disguise

Today, I will be writing an article which is not related to dental due to my motherly soul and as a good person, I feel that I must bring this forward. This story and the facts are especially vital for parents and guardians to pay attention to. It might sound absurd to many, since it will be against the “common” practice, but I seek your patience to read until the end to comprehend the natural ways of reduce children’s fever.

This is how the true story goes…

On Wednesday morning, as usual, I sent my daughter to kindergarten. The daily child acceptance procedure at her kindergarten is to have the children’s body temperature checked, mouth checked, and hands sanitized. My daughter does not look a bit sick at all, but surprisingly, the inner ear digital thermometer was beeping with warning and flashing in red. The reading shows 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

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I brought her home. Then, administer her with her fever medicine which was prescribed by doctor to reduce children’s fever. Initially, the reading of inner ear digital thermometer went slightly down. I told her to get some sleep, so, she was lying down whilst I went to the kitchen to wash the breakfast dishes up. When I heard her started to fuss, I came over, and to my surprise, her body temperature was hotter to my touch. I checked, and it went up to 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius). I told her to lie down on the tile floor since it is more cooling.

I started to wonder…something is not right. Even though, she was having fever but she looks cheerful and ‘normal’. But after the medication, she is suffering, looks sick and in pain. My mother instinct wants me to do up some research.

I still keep reminding her to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Before lunch time is near, I must plan and prepare something which will be easy on her. I remember old folks telling me that no solid foods for children who has fever. Then, what exactly is best for my daughter now?

Somewhere in my brain library flashing to me “starve the fever…starve the fever…” Have you heard about feeding the colds and starve the fever? After what had happened to my own daughter and witnessed by me, I could confidently tell you that, it is not a myth but a so true fact! And, most importantly, it works to reduce children’s fever naturally and safely!!

Reduce children’s fever naturally

Of course, starving does not mean the poor child cannot eat anything. When the child is ready to eat, give fresh fruits, broth or milk until the fever breaks. This is to slow down the movement of food through the gut in order to support and work with the fever.

Do not push food to your child. Let your child tells you what he/she wants to eat, and when she is ready to eat. Of course, you need to mentally select her options of food because sugary foods will delay the natural immune response causing your child’s fever to take more days to break. Discuss with your child. And remember, always, always…let your child drinks a lot of water. Taking in lots of fluid is very effective to reduce children’s fever.

As for your child’s clothing, let she decides. If your child is shivering or feeling chilled, let your child wear jacket which could easily take off by herself. If your child is warm, just wear comfortable t-shirt and shorts will do.

How to treat a child’s fever

A fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius) to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) is actually the optimal defense against microbes.

Your child needs to take a lot of rest. Even when your child is resting, her body would still be working hard to fight off the invader. Activities and exercise distract body energy from such crucial immune system processes. The body is trying to cure. So, do not suppress it by exercising or taking fever-reducing medicine.

Unless your child’s fever rise too high, rise too quickly or your child is in pain or suffers discomfort from a fever over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius), then, use the medicines sparingly.

What causes child fever

The following are the functions of fever:-

  1. Stimulate the immune system
  2. Turning up the heat high enough so that the invading microbes cannot survive.

Usually, the “big eaters” (macrophages) will eat any kind of microbe that invades the body, since these “big eaters” are the first line of defense. They will also recruit other immune system cells to make IL-1 (Interleukin One). IL-1 will give signal to the body to raise the temperature. IL-1 is one of several endogenous pyrogens. Along with other pyrogens and proteins, IL-1 is released into the blood, and as a team, they travel to the hypothalamus in the brain to inform of the invaders.

Hypothalamus stays at the control centre to maintain the body’s perfect temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). Besides that, it also has the authority to tell the body that the hormones must be maintained just right at certain fixed quantities in the bloodstream.

At times like this when the body is attacked by many invading pathogens, the body’s temperature should be raised a few degrees to “cook” the enemies up so that the body can remain healthy. Therefore, when the hypothalamus received the IL-1 signal, it will create another biochemical called PGE-2. PGE-2 will then raise the temperature to 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) or 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius). The hypothalamus also has the authority to determine the suitable temperature to be achieved in order to protect the body from the invaders.

Why is my child shivering with a fever?

Shivering is one of the heat-generating mechanisms. A symphony of coordinated response involved with fever.

Why is child sweating after a fever?

Another heat-generating mechanisms is piloerection (small hairs are raised), which is associated with suppressed sweat. Sweating is a cooling mechanism. All these create fantastic synergy of self-healing in the body.

Benefits

Benefit #1: Increase temperature to kill microbes.

Benefit #2: Walling off of iron in order to starve the bacteria.

Benefit #3: Increase antibodies in the body. Much better than any pharmaceutical, the cells are trained to specifically destroy the exact type of germs that is attacking the body. Therefore, the antibodies will be more.

Benefit #4: Producing more white blood cells (good guys) to be armed and mobilized to fight off the specific type of invaders.

Benefit #5: Produce more interferon. Interferon is another type of immune system good guys. Its duty is to block the spread of viruses to prevent them from attacking the healthy cells.

When medical attention is needed…

Scenario #1: Infants less than 1-month old with temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (>38 degrees Celsius). For this age group with fever, seek care immediately. Breastfeed as often as the baby desires while waiting for care because when the breast encounters pathogens in the baby’s mouth, it will make antibodies to be included into the milk.

Scenario #2: Infants from 1-month to 3-months old with temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (>38 degrees Celsius), and appear ill. While waiting for care, breastfeed.

Scenario #3: Children between 3-months and 36-months (3 years old) with a temperature greater than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (>39 degrees Celsius), and appear ill.

Scenario #4: Anyone with temperature above 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit (>40.3 degrees Celsius).

As for those not in the above categories, rest well in bed and consistently stay hydrated to effectively reduce children’s fever.

To all the caring and loving parents and guardians, remember this, it is NOT your children begging for fever-reducing drugs…it’s the bugs.

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