Fever, fever, fever, it is the dreaded moment when our kids feel hot under our hands. What do we do?! Here is everything you need to know about fevers and what to do. Fevers are very necessary and very healthy. Did you know it is actually good when you get a fever? YES! You do NOT want to break a fever! That is going to be the first rule, if you can change your mindset on that one thing then you are headed in the right direction. Let me explain why…
When the body gets a fever it is raising the body temperature above the 98.6 degrees where it usually is. A fever between 102-104 is considered a good healthy fever and where you want to be. This temperature optimizes antibody and white blood cell production about 20x. This is so that it can burn out and burn off the main portion of virus and bacteria, that is causing you or your kids to be sick.
At these temperatures is where certain bacteria and viruses are killed:
- Influenza dies at 99
- Gonococcus dies at 104
- Polio Virus replication is reduced at 104
Anything from 104-106 can be a high fever, at 106 a probability of seizures, BUT at these higher temps is where the body needs to get to kill: pneumococcus and various spirochetes dies.
You do not want above 108-110 where brain damage will occur. The temperature that is unhealthy differs from person to person. Meaning one might handle higher temps better than other. This is based off the person main core temperature. Every person can range from 96 to 99.
This process takes a HUGE amount of energy and focus by your body.
This is why you get tired and just want to sleep. Sleep will help the body in having to work less. It is also why you or your kids also do not want to eat and food. At temperatures above 99.5 is when the digestive system shuts down, hence eating during a fever is not recommended! If you eat at this higher temp you will slow down the immune response, as the energy of the body is now being diverted to digest the food.
Your body is diverting energy to create the fever and does not want to waste energy on digesting food. So do not worry and do not MAKE them eat, when they do not want to. The body knows what is best. Why would you want to stop the body in doing its job it was created to do? Why stop the natural protocol built in to our DNA thats keep you and your babies healthy? Once the main portion of the sickness is burnt off, the fever will break naturally. Once the temp drops below 99 you will feel hungry again. This is when simple foods like bone broths and soups are best.
White Blood Cells
The other reason the body generates a fever, is for your white blood cells. These cells are the ones the body creates to fight off invaders, these are your first line of defense. There are seven different kinds of white blood cells and they each have a different job to do. One thing they all have in common is to keep you healthy. The body helps them out in generating a fever. When the body raises its temperature, this acts like opening up and widening all the highways. It helps the white blood cells get to where they need to be- quicker. This in turn helps you get better faster. These cells are the only cells that can “move through walls”. They can go anywhere they need to in the body. This is a very good reason to have a fever!
Every Body is Different
Everyone reacts to a fever differently. My kids would sometimes work up the fever at night and it would break in the morning. It would then return the next night and do the same thing. This would happen for a couple of days. Remember how much energy it takes? The body might need a break. Some get a fever and it is high for a while and then is gone. Any of this is normal and okay. However it presents itself do not freak out, remember it is a normal and healthy process.
One thing to be aware of is if you or your family get a rash and a fever at the same time. If you know to be aware of this then you can keep track of it. They might come down with a rash, and then a fever a couple days later or a week. Or they might get the fever for a few days and it will break and then a rash will hit. This is normal, the rest of the virus/bacteria is working itself out. Just watch and see if they hit at the same time, this is different and you should take them in to see your doctor.
What To Do:
- Stop. When you have a fever this is when you are most contagious. Do not let your kids play with other kids, keep themhome from school etc, and help stop the spread of sickness!
- Watch the temperature. This is the only thing I do during a fever. I watch it and make sure it does not go above 105. In my experience this is what I have learned: I can feel this if their forehead, cheeks and nose are hot. The forehead will always be hot, and if it is just their forehead, then usually it is not above 103. It is just a low grade fever and this is good. If their forehead is hot, and then you go to their cheeks and they are hot, and their nose, then they are getting close to that 104. When it does get above 104, sometimes the person or child will start to hallucinate, this is a sign to bring it down, NOT to break it.
If it does get to 104, this is what I do:
- Cool them down. Remember you do not want to break all that hard work the body has done. If a fever does get too high- I undress them and use a wet cloth to wipe them down. Thats it. It will bring the temperature down below 105 and I will do this as long asI need to, to keep it under 105. I do not give them a bath or this usually breaks it. NO cold baths!
- Use Lavender. Rub lavender essential oil on their back and it will help bring it down. You can use peppermint to cool as well. Use coconut oil or olive oil to help spread and rub.
- Drink, drink, drink. I said do not make them eat earlier, but you DO need to make them drink. If you get dehydrated you will have more problems on your hands, so make them drink. Dehydration will shut down kidneys and land you in the hospital. Given them small sips very often. A lot and one time and they will usually throw it up. If they do throw up, start making them drink sips again. If it is straight water they might throw it up as well, do fresh juices and water. You can add electrolytes to help keep the water down. Not the pedialyte- that is toxic. You can easily make your own re-hydration mix HERE.
- Do NOT eat. No sugar or dairy- this especially means ice cream.
- Take tinctures and herbs/teas warm as hot infusions. Take Zinc and Vitamin C
Watch for those things and manage the fever. Keep them away from siblings and in the house and you will stop the spreading. Let the fever run and simply watch it, then they will get better much quicker because the fever burnt off a lot of the illness. I hope this helps and that you do not get fevers very often, but when they are little it seems a sure thing.