It can be scary when your child gets a fever, but this is also an important indicator that their immune system is working hard to fight off some type of infection. Many doctors want to push medication on a child whose temperature rises above the normal range, but it is wise to consider natural alternatives whenever possible. After all, people who are overly medicated can end up dealing with major issues later in life, especially when their body becomes resistant to antibiotics and other helpful prescriptions. Therefore, if you child does not have an extremely high fever, you may be better off utilizing the following 7 tips that are based on a natural approach.
#1: Avoid Layering
Children who have a fever may experience the alternating sensations of feeling very cold and hot, but you do not want to layer their clothing as a result. Instead, sticking with one thin layer will make it easier for the excess heat to escape through their skin. If they do complain about feeling too cold, you should use a single light blanket to help them feel more comfortable while still allowing their body to release the heat of the fever
#2: Use a Cool Washcloth
Simply placing a cool, damp washcloth on your child’s forehead can help reduce their fever. As an added bonus, they are more likely to be able to rest when there is a cool washcloth placed on their head.
#3: Carefully Monitor the Fever
Any child who is over the age of six months can typically deal with a fever below 104 degrees Fahrenheit without needing medical assistance, especially if you take other steps to bring their temperature down. However, you will need to be able to continuously monitor their temperature in order to make an informed decision. A sick child might make it difficult to use standard thermometer options. Therefore, you may need to utilize an alternative resource such as a wearable, wireless thermometer. Please note that newborns with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should be taken to the doctor immediately.
#4: Steer Clear of Outdated Techniques
When you were a child, your parents might have used rubbing alcohol or placed you in a cold bath in an attempt to bring your fever down. Although they had good intentions, modern science tells us that both of these options can actually cause a person’s body temperature to rise. Even worse is the fact that rubbing alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning.
#5: Run a Lukewarm Bath
A cold bath is out, but a lukewarm bath or sponge bath can help bring the fever down. This will not work instantaneously, but you should see positive results as the water begins to evaporate from your child’s skin. Due to this process, a sponge bath can actually be the quickest way to provide your child with some relief.
#6: Utilize a Fan
Turning a fan on to remove some of the heat from the room is a no-brainer, but it is important to be aware of the best way to utilize this resource. Instead of turning the fan on full blast and aiming it directly at your child, you should choose the lowest setting and turn on the oscillate mode. This will keep cool air circulating through the room, and it will also help avoid the possibility of causing your child to end up feeling chilled.
#7: Fluids and Cold Food Are Key
Some people believe that they should starve a fever, but this is an outdated idea that is not actually helpful. Instead, your child should be offered cold food and fluids to ensure that they stay hydrated. In other words, this is one time when you can give in to your child’s desire to eat ice pops and yogurt for dinner because it will help them stay cooler.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most fevers are not something to fear. Surprisingly, the AAP recommends resisting the urge to treat fevers with any type of medication or herbal remedy unless the child is extremely uncomfortable, has a very high temperature or has been running a fever for more than 72 consecutive hours. The reality is that stopping a fever from running its full course could end up hampering the rest of your child’s recovery process. With this in mind, it is definitely best to stick with options such as providing cold food, running a fan and using a cool, damp washcloth whenever possible.
About the author
Jade is currently working as an LPN at a Skilled Nursing Facility and Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. Jade is also the mother of three small children and believes in using natural and less invasive treatments for her kids when they are sick or have a fever. She used her medical knowledge to research thermometers and stumbled upon the Vivabear, wireless thermometer. Jade believes the Vivabear would be a better and natural choice vs. traditional thermometers in regards to the safety and comfort of her children.