The Fear of Fever

children_feverWhenever our oldest child, Zoe, gets a ‘cold’ or ‘flu’, it is amazing to witness how effectively and quickly her immune system works. She innately follows her body’s cue to need more sleep and rest. Her appetite goes down. And…she gets a fever.

Her fever is usually high, she sleeps, and rests, and then the cold or flu is gone within 24 hours.

My husband sometimes puts a cool cloth on her forehead, to increase her comfort. But, we don’t give any children’s medications to ‘bring down’ the fever.

Many of us often forget that a fever is our body’s natural immune system response. It is nature’s way of raising the body temperature in order to kill the harmful bacteria or viruses. It is the body’s innate wisdom that drives this process.

When one attempts to bring down or suppress a fever, it often prolongs an infection. Lowering a fever suppresses the immune system and allows the harmful bacteria or viruses to multiply and increase.

While it is true that certain high or long lasting fevers need to be suppressed in some way, these fevers represent an extreme minority of fevers. Except for these rare occurrences when a fever is very high, a fever should be left to play its part in fighting infection.

Most often it is the anxieties that we have as parents that need to be addressed more than a child or family member’s fever. Remember to have faith and belief in the wisdom of the body.

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