Tuesday 26 June 2012

F is for fox...and also fever

A few months ago, I took an herbalism class at my local community centre that focused on children illness. Herbalism is the study and use of medicinal properties of plants and plant extracts. It sounds a bit Hocus Pocus and some of its effects might be psychosomatic. However, a multitude of mainstream medicine are derived from plant sources...and I loved the idea of making my own natural remedies. 

As my sick baby just fell asleep nested against my chest, I thought that I could share with you a few interesting things about fever.

In modern countries, as soon as the baby rectal thermometer indicates fever, most parents get pretty nervous and immediately administer Tempra like medicine. It is common beliefs that fever is dangerous. However, it is generally not the case. Fever is a natural process that helps eliminate the damn virus or bacteria that makes your child miserable. Fever is not a disease but a symptom. 

That being said, my herbalism teacher told us that any child 3 months or younger with a fever higher than 38C (100.4F) must see a doctor as soon as possible. For older kids, there's no need to call the doctor unless the fever persists for more than 72 hours or is very high (41.1C or 106F).

Simple fever information from my herbalist class

Unless your child is very uncomfortable, go easy with commercial fever medicine such as children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen (baby 6 months or older).

A feverish kid needs to rest, rest and rest.

It is normal to have very little appetite. However, it is crucial to stay well hydrated. Miso soup, broth, raspberry leaf herbal tea or slippery elm herbal tea are all "nutritious" options.

Do not over dress or under dress your child...extremes are never good!

If the fever doesn't stop your kid from playing and eating normally it is probably not a big deal (note: Alice is not playing at all and doesn't want to eat...poor little bunny!!!).

Constant human contact (hello baby carrier) and love is generally what works the best during a fever.

superb fox illustration by ChipmunkCheeks

* * * * *
di: Obviously! You can't go wrong with clothes pegs, pans, wooden spoons and large cardboard boxes.

guru: Your daughter has a lovely name, ah!

sandra: You could make it much nicer than mine...cover it with pretty paper, make, use colorful tape...

1 comment:

Sid. said...

Just wanted to share some awesome advice for older babies/toddlers that I was given by a friend: if your child has a fever and you're not sure how sick they really are, strip them down to their diaper/underwear and give them a popsicle. If it's just a teething/growing/minor flu thing, they'll perk right up and be running around happy in no time. If they don't want the popsicle and/or don't perk up quickly, consider a trip to the emergency for an evaluation.

I've done this a couple of times when we've been up at night having fever, restlessness and crying and it's worked like a dream. Making me very happy that I didn't drag her to the emergency (and risk getting her exposed to something really gross).