Fevers, especially in young children, can be frightening. And some do require medical intervention. But you can often treat a fever naturally without resorting to fever reducing medications or doctor's visits. Try these six natural fever treatments for your children and yourself.
First, know when should you seek pediatric care for your child's fever:
- Any fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in a child three months old or younger.
- A fever in an infant or child lasting three days or longer without a clear source.
- Any fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Any fever in a child with a compromised immune system.
If those conditions aren't met, you can treat a fever naturally at home and keep from over-medicating your kids.
1. Lukewarm bath
A cold bath is too shocking to a child's system. But a lukewarm bath can soothe a child and bring down external temperature enough to soothe the symptoms. A cold bath causes a person to shiver, which will bring the internal temperature up even higher. So stick to a bath at least lukewarm if not warm to soothe your child.
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2. Apple cider vinegar
Soak cloths in apple cider vinegar and place them on your child's forehead and stomach. The apple cider vinegar can also be added to the bathwater for a combined fever treatment. Apple cider vinegar has long been a holistic treatment for fevers. It is thought that the vinegar draws the heat to the location of the cloths and allows it to dissipate. The apple cider vinegar cloths can also be wrapped around your feet to draw the fever down. If your child can stomach it, you can give teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to fight the fever from within the body.
3. Lemon socks
Lemon socks, socks soaked in warm lemon juice and water, can calm a child and keep their feet warm. The lemons can also help navigate a fever since they thrive in an intensely warm environment, according to holistic family medicine doctor, Dr. Thomas Cowan. Soak towels or cloths in warm lemon juice and place them on the feet, covered by socks.
4. Egg white socks
Egg whites from organic eggs can be soaked on towels or socks and placed on the feet until the egg whites dry out. Two to three egg whites for children and up to five for adults should be used. The egg whites draw the heat from your head to your feet, where the increased temperature is not dangerous. If you can't use egg whites because of allergy or philosophy, try onions or shredded potato.
5. Garlic foot paste
Garlic truly is an amazing sickness treatment when consumed. It's anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-bacterial. And it's yet another way to treat your fever through your feet. Mash garlic into a paste and mix it with coconut oil or olive oil and spread it on your feet about 1/4-inch thick, Mommypotamus says. You'll want to leave a few open areas to allow heat to escape. Then wrap your foot in gauze and leave the paste on overnight.
6. Calcium lactate
When you're sick, calcium is drawn out of your bones by white blood cells to fight infection. If you consume extra calcium while fighting infection, your body can draw from the supplement instead of your bones. This will reduce the aches and pains from illness since those aches come from your calcium being drawn out. According to Mommypotamus, calcium lactate actually makes the fever more effective. Meaning that the fever will progress through your body more quickly and work its healing powers. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends calcium citrate since it's more easily absorbed. It is, however, more expensive than more common calcium supplements like calcium carbonate and calcium lactate.
You can treat your child's other symptoms naturally, too. But above all else, make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids (whether it's bottle, breast, water or juice) and schedule in lots of cuddle time for soothing your child naturally during the fever. Skin to skin contact in infants is a proven health booster and cuddle time for children can work much the same way.
Follow Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter.