Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Treating Fevers

I am going to probably delve into a controversial topic here. But this is what *I* do and what works for *me*. That is why I am writing about it in Works For Me Wednesday. :)

I am an unconventional mommy when it comes to treating my children's sickness. I believe that the mom and dad have the ultimate responsibility for taking care of their children and their health. Which I believe means, they should inform themselves as much as they are able on how to care for their children during sickness.

I have chosen the topic of fevers because this is where I seem to get a lot of raised eyebrows over, so I thought that maybe if I gave some information about it, some would understand where my husband and I are coming from.

When my child shows sign of sickness, and a fever begins, I do not rush to the medicine cabinet and bring out the Tylenol. I went to an MD who told me that the fever is the bodies natural way of fighting the sickness that the child is dealing with. Bringing the fever down for the sake of bring the fever down can actually prolong the sickness.

Instead, I should try to find out what the sickness *is* and treat the sickness not the fever. Sometimes it is a cold, so I will give vitamin C, an herbal formula made especially for children etc. If the fever is climbing, a tepid bath brings the fever down for awhile and tends to make the child feel a bit more comfortable.

Also, I make sure that my children get *plenty* of fluids during the fever. Mine like Pedalite or Gatorade. ;-)

There have been times where I have used Tylenol. When the fever reaches about 103 I will give some Tylenol; and this is usually at night so they can sleep better. The high temps seem to climb during the night or during resting periods for some reason.

Many people get scared, thinking that a high fever will cause the child's brain to fry. There is a certain point where that *can* happen, but it is usually a serious disease that would cause a fever to go high enough to do that.

Children who have problems with seizures anyway, are more likely to have problems with a high fever. But if the child is acting "normal" such as talking coherently, crying and whining, and showing signs of *life* the fever is probably best left alone.

When Sweetie had the flu one year at 19 months, her fever got high enough for me to use Tylenol, and I could tell she *needed* it. Tepid Baths were not working, and she would just lay there staring off into space. Once she had the Tylenol she started acting like herself.

I would like to quote Shonda Parker on Fevers. Shonda Parker wrote a book called Mommy Diagnostics, which is a great reference tool in treating your children during a sickness naturally. Her are her thoughts about it:

"Fever and Fever Reducers
Since I am NOT a physician and not the child’s mother, I could never make the decision as to what you should do for your child. Choosing family herbal care is choosing to self-diagnose and self-medicate unless medical attention is needed. Now, it’s also hard without information to be able to make those kinds of decisions. What has the Parker family done in regard to this issue? Two of my children, my boys, have had febrile seizures. I believe this is due to some protective mechanism for their body that God has given them, and yes, when you abruptly change a child’s temperature status, a febrile seizure can result. With both boys, I’ve allowed the fever to rise until 103 degrees (when they are under 2 years of age), then I choose to treat with Tylenol if all of my natural fever measures are not helping. For my older children, I let the fever go as long as they are not miserable. I am always treating with herbs, vitamins, physical medicine, etc. If they are in extreme pain, I choose a pharmaceutical that I’m comfortable with.
Tylenol can be toxic to the liver. I choose to use milk thistle any time Tylenol is used in this house. I NEVER use Tylenol (acetaminophen) if I have previously given any alcohol tinctures or extracts to myself or my family. Tylenol mixed with alcohol, in any amount, is a risky measure – people have died from the combination.
The herbs I use are a combined product of peppermint, yarrow and elderberry as well as feverfew (Yummy Yarrow and Elderberry). In known bacterial infections, I also use white willow. I’m a little uncomfortable using white willow bark during viral infections in children.
I do not use homeopathic remedies. The system of homeopathic medicine would require me not to use my herbs if I were going to use it the way it was intended. I like my herbs and am unwilling to give them up."

Anyway, this is what Works For *Me*. Like Shonda said, I am not a doctor, and it is up to the parent to decide what is best for their child. I am not against using Tylenol to treat fevers, but I don't jump to use it whenever my child has a fever either. So that is what Works For Me. :)

My suggestion with this writing this post, is to inform yourself. A lot of people seem to blindly follow the doctor. And while I believe doctors are wonderful. ( I have used them when my child has been sick) I also think parents should inform themselves and be knowledgeable as possible when it comes to their children's health.

My recommendation is to buy Shonda Parker's Mommy Diagnostics. This is a great place to start to learn how to begin treating your children with home remedies. The book also gives you much encouragement and confidence in your abilities as your child's mother to learn how to effectively treat your children when they are sick.

For More Works For Me Wednesday Tips, please click on the button at the beginning of my post. Have a wonderful day! :)

*disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I am not telling you that this is what you need to do to treat your child. As a parent please be responsible in *your* own parenting decisions. Thank you! :)


Mrs. C said...

You phrased your post very well. :) I have 2 of Shonda's books, and they have been valuable tools.

Mrs. C

MrsMomma said...

I found your post very informative and enjoyable to read. Thanks for the information and book recommendation.

On another note, are you going to be doing a learning folder this month for Christmas? If so, I've got some great links up on my blog you may want to check out.