Fevers. They can be very uncomfortable for us adults, and they can be even scarier for us as parents. But, the truth is that fevers are actually not an illness; fevers are our bodies way of protecting us, and they are a sure fire sign that our immune systems are turned on and ready to fight infection. While I myself am not a doctor, nurse, or any sort of health care provider, I have had this fact confirmed by many doctors, nurses, and health care providers. You, however, need to do what you are comfortable with, what you find to be right for your family at any particular time, and what your health care providers are helping you decide. But now, I’ll tell you a little bit about why I don’t like to medicate fevers and what I do instead.
My Fever Experience
I should also point out that in my house, I’ve personally been pretty lucky with fevers. Over the last year, I shared how my house was hit with Covid, but prior to that, the last time I was sick (with a flu, and therefore, also a fever) was 2016…I basked in 6 years of healthy bliss. My daughter, who also got Covid, went the first 2 and a bit years of her life with zero illness. In those two years, we had two times where she had a low-grade fever for less than 24 hours after vaccinations. So, we haven’t experienced a lot of high grade fevers over here, for long durations, therefore, I know I come at fevers with a lot less stress than some. I will also mention that a big fear for parents is that not medicating a fever and reducing it instantly will bring on a febrile seizure, but fortunately (or not, depending how you look at it), Shan Tripp teaches in her Medical Emergencies for Moms course that febrile seizures are not preventable and are not caused by high fever – rather, it is a quick spike, usually being the sign of illness.
Why I [Generally] Don’t Treat a Fever with Medicine
As I shared above, a fever is a way of letting the body do what it needs to do to heal. By treating the fever, not only are you slowing down the healing process, but in children especially, I feel like you are also masking the symptoms, which may give you a false sense of wellness, and may also cause the child to push themselves harder than they should, not allowing themselves to rest and heal. Being the crunchy mama I am, or hippy, or naturally-minded human, or whatever you want to call it, I personally don’t love the ingredients in Tylenol, Advil, etc., and don’t love the long-term impacts they have on the body (liver, kidneys, and more), but I’ll also say I’m grateful they exist so they can be used in situations where they are truly needed. Going back to the vaccination fever talk, some studies have shown that treating a fever after vaccinations can also impact the effectiveness of the vaccines, so that’s another thing to consider for your own family.
When I Would Call a Doctor
The reason I told you about my experiences with fevers is so you could see that other than the fact that it is so painful to see your child not feeling well, I’ve never been too concerned about fevers. When I would be concerned, or call a doctor, is if my child was under 3 months of age, if their fever persisted for many days, and if they were showing any other concerning signs, (or for myself in pregnancy). I’ve always loved to follow the idea of watching the child’s temperament during that time – are they still playing? are they still drinking? are they showing signs of “being themselves”? As a parent, you know! I also know the rule of thumb is that fevers over 104 degrees Fahrenheit call for intervention (or at least talking to your health care provider), but considering all those factors is a huge piece of the wellness puzzle!
My Natural Fever Remedy
I do this for myself, as well as for my daughter, and I swear, it is magic!! I wouldn’t do it on my children under 6 months of age.
- Give a warm bath (or simply a foot bath)
- During step 1, soak nylon socks (or you can cut the feet off of panty hose) in an ice bath bowl
- Once out of bath, dry feet well
- Ring out nylon socks and put them on feet
- Top nylon socks with wool socks and wear them all night!
Since you body has to heat up the socks, your body increases your blood circulation, therefore, putting the immune system to work! A natural remedy to help the body heal itself…listening to the fever and giving it a little extra umpf!
Every time we use the magic sock remedy, we wake up with dry socks and zero fever! On top of that, this method helps with congestion, and so much more, so it really is an overall wellness remedy!
*Many people have asked what to do if they don’t have nylon socks. 100% cotton socks will work as the base. The top socks do need to be wool, because you need something moisture-wicking.*
What Else I Do When My Child Has a Fever
During fevers, I also make sure my child is getting lots of liquids (plus breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed), I dress them lightly, and I sleep in the same room as them, so I can be very aware all throughout their sleep. I also try to make sure they are getting some healthy nutrients and vitamins to boost their immunity, but I know that can be easier said than done if they don’t have an appetite. This is also a time to offer all the cuddles!
This natural remedy really can’t do any harm, even if you pair it with something else, so I hope you love it’s benefits as much as we do! Get well!