Fever in Children
With the winter months upon us it’s safe to say that we are now in the cold and flu season. Supporting your immune system year round by eating well, getting adequate sleep, and watching your stress are excellent ways to keep yourself protected from this year’s viral strains. That being said, coming down with a runny nose, cough, and fever are sometimes inevitable, especially in infants and children.
When it comes to the youngest members of our families a fever can be a scary thing, sending us to the medicine cabinet for the nearest bottle of fever reducing medication. But a fever really isn’t the cause of your little one’s illness but rather a symptom of it…and an important one! A fever serves to stimulate our immune system and instead of suppressing a fever it is often more important to support this rise in temperature, unless it becomes too high or rises too quickly. A fever of 39 C to 39.4 is optimal in fighting off the microbes that lead to the cold and flu and the benefits of fever include increased antibodies, white blood cells, as well as other specialized cells that can help to block the spread of viruses to healthy cells.
If your little one has a mild to moderate fever be sure to dress them in light clothing and maintain their hydration levels with plenty of water or herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger, or yarrow. A cold compress to their head and neck can also be helpful. Be sure to monitor their temperature frequently and encourage your little one to rest.
- Seek medical attention for infants less than 6 months old with a temperature of 38 C as well as for children over the age of 6 months who have a temperature greater than
- 39 C and who may also be excessively cranky, sleepy, lethargic or unresponsive, persistently wheezing or coughing, who may have vomiting or diarrhea, rash, stiff neck, earache, headache, sore throat, or any other signs of illness or if the fever lasts more than 48 hours (1).
We don’t want our little ones to become sick. Often, however, a parent’s desire to “make it all better”, especially when it comes to suppressing a fever, may be well meaning, but sometimes detrimental. Visit the Canadian Pediatric Society for details on how to best take your child’s temperature and for more ways on how to best support your body’s defences in fighting off the cold and flu be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Linda Shih, ND at Spine Stretch Studio. I Look forward to helping you on the road to wellness!