Fevers, or elevated temperatures, are a good sign that the immune system is working. Fever is the body's mechanism for fighting infections-speeding up metabolism to increase heart rate and blood supply where it is needed, producing more white blood cells to devour pathogens, and increasing antibody responses to infection. In Traditional Asian Medicine, we do not suppress fevers under 105F, with antipyretics (fever-reducing medications such as: Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin). Studies have shown that depriving the body of its ability to develop a fever with antipyretics may prolong the illness, decrease antibody response, and increase the likelihood of disease complications such as pneumonia and meningitis. Reducing fevers interferes with immune mechanisms and worsens illness.
When is a Fever dangerous? Danger Signs with Fever:
Any fever in a child under three months of age
Fever reaches 105F
Appearance: lethargic, pale skin, unresponsive, weak crying
Symptoms: repeated vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck
If baby under three months of age has a fever or seems sick and lethargic, see your medical provider.
When a child has a fever, we want to support their immune system to clear the virus. In Traditional Asian Medicine, we use gentle, yet effective, Shonishin and Tuina massage treatments, diet and herbs to support the child's immune system to clear the virus.
What can parents do for fevers?
-Keep a cool cloth on your child's forehead
-Give Herbs such as Yin Qiao, Echinacea, Minor Bupleurum or Windbreaker
-Give vitamin C
-Give plenty to drink
-Give therapeutic Tuina-massage (parent instruction offered)
-Dry brush skin massage
-Keep child home from school and resting for twenty-four hours after a fever has subsided. Often children will have a fever in the evening, burn it off in the night, and feel much better in the morning. Then the fever may return later in the afternoon and the child feels droopy again. Better to rest until recovery is complete than to rush back to normal activities and prolong the illness.