With fall approaching and school starting back up again, we can expect these things to happen for sure…colds, sickness, and lots of nasty germs. Even if you have only one back to schooler, you can almost guarantee at some point the little one is going to bring some type of illness home for the rest of the family. It is really important to know though that fevers often get a bad rap and a dose of medicine isn’t always what is best for you or your children. The Mayo Clinic says this about fevers on their website:
“A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, often due to an illness. Having a fever is a sign that something out of the ordinary is going on in your body.
For an adult, a fever may be uncomfortable, but usually isn’t a cause for concern unless it reaches 103 F (39.4 C) or higher. For infants and toddlers, a slightly elevated temperature may indicate a serious infection.
Fevers generally go away within a few days. A number of over-the-counter medications lower a fever, but sometimes it’s better left untreated. Fever seems to play a key role in helping your body fight off a number of infections.”
See that last sentence there? Fevers are very important and play a key role in fighting off illnesses. Instead of jumping to give your kiddo a dose of meds, first consider these options when trying to naturally fight the discomfort that comes with fevers and colds this fall.
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Drawing a lukewarm bath can help regulate the body’s temperature. Both cold water and hot water will have the opposite effect and increase your fever, about room temperature is perfect. Be sure to wrap up in a towel afterwards so that you or your child don’t get body chills
Fever can dehydrate the body, so keep hydrated with lots of water. Babies can keep hydrated with either formula or breast milk. Often babies with fever have decreased appetite, if your baby is not eating regularly and you are concerned please consult your doctor.
Getting plenty of rest is the body’s natural defense against fever. Stay home from work for a day, keep the kids home from school, and have a movie day! Sleep is the best medicine!
The first time our daughter got a fever at 3 months old our doctor’s first word of advice was to take off all of her clothing and only use a sheet to cover her up. Don’t try to sweat out a fever, and don’t freeze yourself out either, but cool your body down gradually.
If anyone in the family is suffering from congestion I highly recommend getting a humidifier (this is the one we have). I lived with one in my room throughout my childhood and now we keep one in B’s room. It relieves stuffy noses and breaks up congestion, making it significantly easier to breathe and get rest.
If you are an essential oil user (or if you want to be click here!), I recommend using several oils this fall! For allergies and stuffy noses we diffuse 2 drops of lavender, 2 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of lemon. For colds we combine 4 drops of thieves, 4 drops of peppermint, and 4 drops of lemon, and 4 oz of coconut oil and rub it on the bottoms of our feet and chests to break up congestion and fight sicknesses. (Don’t use peppermint on children under the age of 2.)
The most accurate way to check a child’s temperature is a rectal thermometer, but we use a forehead thermometer initially. If you or your child has a fever over 103, get to a doctor. I would always advise calling your doctor anytime you are concerned about a fever. I do think that medical care is amazing when necessary, but in my opinion fever happens for a reason and the best way to aide your body in fighting whatever it’s fighting is to make yourself comfortable and ride it out.