Fever is the body’s natural response when fighting infection. Run of the mill fevers that my children get from a cold virus picked up at school or the playground are treated gently and easily. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are hard on the stomach, liver and overall gut health (read those labels closely). So for fevers caused by a simple cold virus here’s what we do:
This tip is so simple that many overlook it. It’s my most effective treatment for the average non-threatening fever. I place a cool cloth (not cold) on my child’s forehead for a few minutes. In less than 10 minutes (or longer depending on how high the temp) the fever will drop a few degrees or sometimes break temporarily.
Now my child feels well enough to eat, sleep more comfortably or even play. With this method I can easily tell when her temp has risen again by her behavior before I even reach for the thermometer. The playing stops, the weariness sets in and I know that the fever is back in action.
At this point I add the cool cloth until her temperature lowers again. I repeat this routine throughout the day and night as needed. A fever can take a few days to break completely, so keeping my child’s temperature lower makes her more comfortable in the meantime.
While the cool cloth is at work lowering my child’s temperature, I add in Vitamin C to boost her immune system. I’m a big fan of the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C. It’s been shown to shorten the duration of colds, flu and viruses.
There are so many brands of vitamin c but we have a few favorites. Wafers are good for kids who cannot swallow a tablet. There’s also this vitamin c powder that I add to my smoothies (just a pinch). And while nursing, I take a tablet to pass the benefits of Vitamin C through breast milk when my little one is under the weather. We’re big fans of Vitamin C in this house to say the least!
This syrup is another part of our immune system building team. It’s amazing because it is effective against both bacterial infections and viruses! Kids like the naturally sweet taste. I like how it treats fevers, sore throats, colds and flu. Children can use it from age 1 year old and up. 2 doses a day during sickness will give the body an immune boost. I definitely notice a difference when we do not use it so I always keep it on hand for the first hint of a cold. I’ve watched it shorten the duration of fevers and colds enough times to make it a winter staple in our home.
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Prepare a bath with lukewarm water and have your child sit in it for 10-15 minutes. Just like the cool cloth, the bath should not be too cold causing the child to shiver or warm enough to raise their temperature. The water will cool their body down and provide relief. Children 6+ can have Epsom Salt added to their bath to help detoxify. Follow the instructions on the package but it is typically 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a running bath for adults and children ages 6 and up.
After the bath, keep your child dressed lightly. Although they may feel chilled from the fever, being bundled up too tightly under warm clothing and blankets can spike their temperature.
The importance of fluids cannot be stressed enough. During a recent bout with a virus I found that Pedialyte helped keep my daughter’s temp down. The higher her temperature spiked the less she drank and the more dehydrated she became. Having her sip throughout the day hydrated her quicker than drinking plain water and helped keep the higher temps at bay.
You can also make your own electrolyte drink, but when I need something ready-made I like having unflavored Pedialyte on hand. If my child is feverish, I put a bottle in the fridge as it tastes better chilled.
Fevers are no fun for kids so I use these tools to help keep mine comfortable naturally while the virus runs its course.
What are your natural fever reducing methods?
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This site’s content is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Readers should consult their own qualified health care professional for medical advice.