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5 Ways To Treat A Fever Naturally

on January 11 | in Natural Remedies | by | with 247 Comments

5 Natural Remedies For A Fever

I Like Math Just About As Much As The Next Mom

Counting baby toes, pennies and the number of times Micah says “sooopooon” (spoon) in a day – all good stuff! But when it comes to my kids health math rarely factors in. Why? I watch them, not the numbers. This is especially true with fevers.

I’m not alone, either. According to Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson – pediatrician at Loyola University Health System and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine – numbers may not be as significant as we tend to think.

“My most frequent calls are from worried parents who want to know how high is too high of a fever. What many parents don’t realize is that often, fevers are their child’s friend.

. . . . Fevers can actually help your child recover more quickly, especially if he or she is battling a viral illness . . . I often wish thermometers had a gauge that read either ‘fever’ or ‘no fever.’ That would definitely help parents who worry if their child has a fever that’s too high.”

Loyola Medicine: That Fever Might Be Your Child’s Friend

Here’s a video from another pediatrician, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, which explains more:*

“Seattle Mama Doc” On Fever Phobia

Can I just say that I LOVE these woman?? Personally I’d avoid the use of fever reducers if possible – here is one of the many reasons why – but I am still **this** close to sending them a dozen orchids. Regarding when fevers may need the attention of a pediatrician, here’s what Dr. Swanson has to say:

“The main take home is not to treat fever per se, but your child. There is no reason to make a fever disappear if your child is otherwise acting well, playful, and staying hydrated. But do know there are some fevers that do require a visit with the pediatricians. It’s important to seek care when fever persists after 3 days in infants and children, any fever in a baby 3 month old or less, and if fever is over 104 degrees.”

And here’s what else Dr. Chow-Johnson has to say:

  • “Fevers are safe. A fever is the body’s way of controlling its immune response. Your child’s body is controlling the temperature and it’s going to fluctuate no matter what you do. Don’t awaken a child from a deep sleep to give medications for the fever. Sleep is more important.
  • Take oral temperatures when possible and rectal ones when not. Ear, sticker, pacifier and temporal artery thermometers are not reliable. Stick to a good, old-fashioned digital thermometer for the best accuracy. As far as how frequently a fever needs to be checked, once a day is sufficient.
  • There is not a maximum number on the thermometer that means go to the emergency room, unless your child stops drinking, urinating or responding well. But if children are doing all three, parents can monitor them from home.
  • Your goal should be your child’s comfort, not reducing the fever. Be generous with fluids, ice chips and popsicles. Dress children in light clothing and give tepid baths to help cool them down. Don’t use rubbing alcohol as this can be absorbed into the skin. Give fever reducers only if your child feels uncomfortable, not solely to reduce the temperature. And don’t alternate fever-reducing medications, as this could lead to overdosing or excessive medication that your child doesn’t need.

There are times you should seek medical attention when your child has a fever such as:

  • A child who is less than 8 weeks old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher should be seen by a physician immediately
  • A child who is undergoing chemotherapy or has a compromised immune system
  • If there is no clear source for the child’s fever (no cough, runny nose or known pain) and the fever has lasted for 2-3 days
  • If a fever lasts for more than 5 days, see a physician, even if your child looks well.”

Loyola Medicine: That Fever Might Be Your Child’s Friend (emphasis mine)

Ahhh, I’m swooning! And the best part is she’s not alone: Dr. Natasha Burgert says pretty much the exact same thing.

“There is no ‘number’ on a thermometer that requires a trip to the Emergency Department. Nope, not even 104F degrees. With very specific exceptions, kids do not have to maintain a “normal” temperature during times of illness.” (Fever: 5 Facts You Should Know)

What About Febrile Seizures?

One of the most common objections to letting a child ride out a fever seems to be concern over febrile seizures. Here are two things worth considering when weighing that concern:

1. Febrile seizures are not considered harmful. According to the Royal Children’s Hospital In Melbourne, “Most children with fever suffer only minor discomfort, however 1 in 30 will have a febrile convulsion at one time or another. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Febrile convulsions are not harmful to your child and do not cause brain damage. They are, however, quite upsetting to parents to witness.

Most children with febrile convulsions only ever have one fit. Some children will have one or more seizures, usually during illnesses which cause a fever. There is no increased risk of epilepsy in children who have febrile convulsions.” 

2. Giving fever reducers may actually induce a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are caused by a rapid change in body temperature in either direction. In certain circumstances, fever reducers bring the fever down too quickly and cause a seizure. Also, there’s another way fever reducers may trigger febrile seizures. According to Amy Love, NTP, CGP, CILC, “fever reducers can CAUSE the febrile seizures because they suppress the body’s attempt to create a fever, and so it has to try harder, thus causing a higher fever (that rises faster), called a rebound fever.”

UPDATE

A new report in the journal of Pediatrics signals a huge shift in the way doctors are viewing fevers.

“Parents have been told for generations that a high fever can be dangerous to kids. If you don’t get your child’s fever down, you’ll run the risk of frying brain cells, doctors have warned.

But now the American Academy of Pediatricians has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. A new report published this month in Pediatrics states that not only is there no need to bring down a fever in an otherwise healthy child, but there is a downside to treating a fever – it can prolong the illness that originally sparked the high temperatures.

The only reason to treat a fever is to make a child more comfortable, a co-author of the report said. ‘In a normal child there’s no set temperature at which you’d need to treat a fever,’ said Dr. Janice Sullivan, a professor of pediatrics and pediatric critical care at the University of Louisville. ‘Our recommendation is primarily to treat discomfort associated with an illness rather than the fever itself. So, when children are uncomfortable or crying, then you should treat them with medication.’

Sullivan and her colleagues scrutinized studies on fevers and found that there was no evidence that a fever by itself could harm a child – unless the child was under the age of 3 months or had heart problems. In fact, the researchers determined that bringing fevers down could actually prolong illness. That’s because fevers are one of the body’s lines of defense against viruses, Sullivan explained.

 ‘Studies done in children with chicken pox, for example, found that children whose fevers weren’t treated had about a day less that they were considered contagious compared to those who were treated,’ she said.”

New Advice On Fevers: Ride It Out

How To Treat A Fever Naturally

The cleared garlic

Okay, so fevers aren’t scary and we should watch the child instead of the thermometer – what happens though when we feel it’s time to try to bring the fever down? I decided to do some research just in case I need it later on. Here’s what I found:

#1 ~ Calcium Lactate

Calcium lactate can be especially helpful in making a sick child/adult more comfortable. When the body fights infection it draws calcium out of the bones to be utilized by white blood cells. The process can make you feel quite achy, so it’s easier just to give the body what it needs without it having to withdraw from “the bank.” Calcium lactate works with the fever to make it more effective, which in turn usually means it’s over more quickly, yay! (Where to buy calcium lactate)

#2 ~ Apple Cider Vinegar

This is an old remedy used by grandmothers and great-grandmothers that is thought to “draw out” the fever – people still swear by it! Soak a couple washcloths in apple cider vinegar and place on forehead and tummy, or add a cup to a warm bath. Some people also soak a cloth in and wrap it around the soles of the patient’s feet – my friend Emily at Holistic Squid says lemons work, too. (Where to buy raw apple cider vinegar)

#3 ~ Egg Whites

Soak a pair of socks in egg whites obtained from healthy, pastured chickens and put them on the patient. For a less messy version, soak paper towels in egg whites and place them on the bottom of the feet, then cover with socks. Replace the socks/paper towels when they dry out. Most people report that they see results from this method very quickly – anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. If egg whites cannot be used due to food sensitivities onions or shredded potato can be used.

#4 ~ Garlic Foot Paste

Blend a enough fresh garlic cloves to make a 1/4 inch paste that will spread across the feet. Blend with a little olive oil or coconut oil and apply. Leave a few spots uncovered so heat can still escape, then wrap in gauze and leave on overnight.  (Note: Only do this on yourself so you can feel if it’s too “hot” for your feet. A mama shared with me that this remedy burned her little one’s foot.)

#5 ~ Warm Bath

A cold bath can shock the body into trying to raise the internal thermostat even more, but a warm to extra warm (depending on comfort level) can be helpful, especially when a cup of apple cider vinegar is mixed in.

#6 – Herbal Freezer Pops

Though not a remedy, these herbal freezer pops may help keep a child hydrated and more comfortable during a fever. Get the recipe.

When kids get stomach bugs, preventing dehydration is priority #1 - Here's how to keep your kids hydrated and happier with freezer pops that are infused with herbs that help fight viruses.

TFN_tablet-300Want more info? Treating Fevers Naturally is a very helpful guide written by Meagan Visser, an R.N. with a holistic perspective on fevers. It includes a lot of great info and recipes for keeping kids comfortable during a fever. 

So, There You Go!

I’m not against scales, statistics, thermometers and all those other things mama’s are supposed to be fond of. I totally use scales to make soap, statistics to analyze the likelihood that Daddypotamus will make up for the fact that he will be traveling on our anniversary (sources say YES!). And thermometers . . . oh how I love them to make marshmallows! And sometimes I use them on my kids, too. :)

If by chance that thermometer starts setting off alarm bells for me, you can bet my house will be stinking like a garlic omelette with vinegar on the side!

Have you ever used a natural remedy to reduce a fever? How did it work for you?

*In the original publication of this post I attributed Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson’s video statements to Dr. Chow-Johnson. I stand corrected :)

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247 Responses to 5 Ways To Treat A Fever Naturally

  1. Caroline says:

    I’ve always used natural remedies before running off to the doctor. When my son and I ended up with the flu (while I was pregnant) we gave my then 2-year-old son a garlic oil massage. His fever broke the next morning and he was back to his normal self after three days of being sick. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to smell like garlic so I didn’t do the same thing and was sick for a week.

    The only time I ran to the doctor or a fever was when my daughter had a high temp for three days. The third night she couldn’t sleep, and the temp got up to 105 and she stopped responding to me. She was only 8 months old, and I decided enough was enough, we went to the ER. They gave her a fever-reducing suppository (because she’s always thrown up anything with red dye in it and all of the children’s stuff they had contained red dye) and she went home a few hours later when her temp went down. The next day she had a terrible rash, and we found out later that she’d gotten roseola. It was a scary couple of days!

    So other than that one time I’ve always used a bath and garlic to help fevers, and lots of cuddles to help my little ones feel better. :) Thanks for the extra info, I’ll give those a shot next time, too!

  2. Christiane says:

    I place lavender doTERRA essential oil on , forehead, temples, back of neck and bottoms of the feet to help reduce fever and it works great for my family including my 2yr old.

  3. Marsha says:

    I was fine with not fearing fevers but when your little one gets seizures with them it is super scary! Any fever no matter the temp can set her off so she’s just “not allowed” to have a fever until she’s outgrown this! (Obviously tongue in cheek) but seriously febrile seizures are treated as almost normal and I have yet to find any natural info on them! So frustrating though there was one study that linked them to anemia so our next baby will be getting more iron in his diet and we will see if it makes a difference.

    • Heather says:

      Goodness, I’ll bet that was very scary! Did they explain what the repercussions could be if she has another one? I was under the impression that doctors are not overly concerned about them.

      “Most children with fever suffer only minor discomfort, however 1 in 30 will have a febrile convulsion at one time or another. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Febrile convulsions are not harmful to your child and do not cause brain damage. They are, however, quite upsetting to parents to witness.

      Most children with febrile convulsions only ever have one fit. Some children will have one or more seizures, usually during illnesses which cause a fever. There is no increased risk of epilepsy in children who have febrile convulsions.” Febrile Seizures: Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

      • Marsha M says:

        We had to go through a lot of testing to make sure that they really were just febrile seizures because she ended up having complex ones…she also had 3 within 24 hrs from roseola. Thankfully nothing abnormal was found so we just watch her carefully and make sure they fall in the “normal” febrile seizure range, also she has never had trouble breathing during them. But the pressure to use fever reducers is quite high and I was also pressured to give her antibiotics when we took her in to the ER to get checked after the seizures…and both times she had viruses so the antibiotics were completely unnecessary. I keep telling people that fever reducers have been proved to NOT prevent a febrile seizure so I was glad to see your comment that they can actually set them off because people just put all their faith in fever reducers and good luck trying to explain why you don’t!

        • Yep! The fever reducers can CAUSE the febrile seizures because they suppress the body’s attempt to create a fever, and so it has to try harder, thus causing a higher fever (that rises faster), called a rebound fever. And Tylenol is absolutely devastating to the liver and should definitely be avoided!

      • Courtney says:

        My nearly 1 year old daughter just had her first fever which led to a seizure. Cause of fever is viral. I’ve been told to alternate tylenol and motrin every 3 hours for a few days whether she has a fever or not. I hate the idea of using those meds at all, let alone that often, but I’m too scared not to. I’m having such a hard time accepting the mainstream belief that “it’s normal, harmless,” blah blah blah. I’m so worried.

      • Liz says:

        Thank you for bringing up the subject of febrile seizures! While they are not of great concern to a doctor, if in fact they are just febrile, this offers no comfort when your 1-year-old child is seizing in your arms. It’s heart stopping and when you have no idea what is going on, the best course of action is to go to the ER or get into see your healthcare provider ASAP. There is often an underlying reason for the seizure and knowing this will help with healing… especially when the kiddo has no way of communicating that anything is wrong. Our son’s first febrile seizure was completely out of the blue.

      • From what I understand, it’s how quickly the fever rises, not how high it goes, that causes the seizures. While scary, they are often seen as harmless, and unfortunately many kids are put on anti-seizure meds (unnecessary with risk of side effects) that do nothing to prevent the seizures, because, again, once it’s happened, it’s over (the temperature has already risen quickly). Some kiddos are just more prone to muster up a fever that rises very fast, I guess. I highly recommend the book “How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor” by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. He echoes the same sentiment discussed here that it’s about the child’s behavior, and NOT the number on the thermometer that should inform parents as to whether outside help is necessary.

    • Stephanie says:

      I never heard of a link w/febrile seizures and anemia, would not be our case. We all have very high iron level but my son did have febrile seizure. It is the scariest thing and although I usually try to limit use of medecine, I do not mess w/fevers. If it is not going down using natural things I do not think twice about using fever reducer.

  4. Beth says:

    Yes Marsha, my daughter gets febrile seizures and we have to watch her temp very closely and try to keep her well! So in some cases watching their temp is very important!

  5. Kelly says:

    My mother lost 60% of her hearing due to a high fever when she was a kid. I, too, lost some of my hearing in the left ear due to a high fever I tried to let “run it’s course” when I was in college. Sometimes, letting the fever go is not the best option!

    • Alexis D says:

      I often wonder if my moderate-to-severe hearing loss in both ears was due to a really high fever as a baby or not. Since they (the hospital) didn’t do hearing tests for newborns when I was born, it was never determined if the hearing loss occurred before or after I was born.

    • Elisabeth says:

      I was hoping that someone would address this. For the most part fevers do not matter. However, a high enough can cause permanent hearing loss–sometimes even permanent deafness.

      I personally like using peppermint essential oil to bring the fever down and then creating an artificially warm environment by having the person drink hot tea, going in for a hot shower and/or bath, and then wearing a lot of layers of cloths and going to bed. In this way the body doesn’t have to work as hard to fight off the infection. (Note: I am aware that we are warm-blooded and our external temperature doesn’t normally match the internal temperature, but when the body has already expressed the desire for internal warmth, external warmth seems to bring about healing.)

      • Jessica says:

        People believed that during the middle ages. They bundled up during there fevers and often suffered brain damage and died. You should not cover up during a fever, that is just plain dangerous advice.

        • Becky says:

          Seriously? They died from being too hot and not the other medical advice people followed back then? I know that it was common to dehydrate someone to death through vomiting and sweating. I know I feel comfortable when I have a blanket on vs. wearing light clothing. I don’t like feeling miserable.

    • Amy says:

      Wow! How high was your fever? We don’t bring fevers down but ours rarely get above the 101′s.

  6. Renee says:

    Is there a brand of Calcium Lactate and dosage you recommend?

  7. Rachael says:

    I love this! I talk about this in one of my blogposts. We use ACV for numerous things as it’s such an amazing “medicine.” On the otherhand, we use Young Living essential oils, and peppermint on the feet works like a charm! Though I don’t do that unless the person is really uncomfortable or I feel too uncomfortable with the fever. I know it’s the bodies way of fighting whatever it is causing the fever.

    http://simplysuburbanwithrach.blogspot.com/2013/01/stay-away-sickness.html

  8. THANK YOU for this post! I’ve been wondering about all this stuff lately. My little girl had a fever of 101.1 the other night. My gut told me to do nothing and just let the fever do it’s work. After an hour or two it ran itself out. It’s so good to know what you can do if it gets too high for comfort. Here’s another idea to add to the list: my homeopathic doctor says to use belladona to bring down a fever. Obviously it would need to be a true homeopathic remedy mixed by a doctor trained in homeopathy. 3 drops under the tongue ever 15 minutes without food until the fever comes down.

  9. Were you just peeking in my window? My little one woke up with a fever this morning. She’s sipping cultured soda (made with ginger bug) and taking Chinese herbs (Xiao Chai Hu tang) which help to the fortify the “exterior” (immune system) while also strenghtening the “center” (digestion). Also, arnica (for the body aches) every two hours.

    I would do the lemon socks, but she’s wearing footed jammies, and I don’t want to disturb her quite yet. Definitely putting her into a warm ACV bath later though! Thanks for the great post. :)

  10. Alyse Finlayson says:

    I’ve tried the garlic and also onions and they do work. My grandmother told me a story about being slathered in sautéed onions on her chest by a desperate nurse in the hospital during the influenza epidemic in 1917. It saved her life! But onions need a little olive oil in the mix just like the garlic so that you don’t get burns from the onions or garlic. I know, tried the garlic paste on the bottoms of my own feet in the wee hours of themorning while sick and was too sick to think straight while reading the instructions in an herbalist book on children’s health. I had blisters on top of blisters in the morning! Cleared out the nasty fever and sore throat, my breath smelled like something dead dead dead according to my husband. I have since used both the onions (sautéed in olive oil till clear and then cool down. We even put this on their chests when they had bronchial colds) and the garlic with olive oil on both my children with excellent results and they are now adults and tell great stories about these occasions mom made them stew in garlic and onions.

  11. This is great information! Another way to treat a fever is will peppermint essential oil (I recommend Young Living or doTERRA brand for safe, pure oils) diluted in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil). You can use a drop of peppermint EO diluted in about 1/2-1 tsp coconut oil & rub it on forehead, temples, neck, chest, and feet. It is very effective. I have used this method on myself, my husband, and my 10 year old little sister, all with great results! Thanks again for this excellent article!

  12. Emile says:

    The one caveat that I would add to your post is that the frequency of fevers can be significant. There are several periodic fever syndromes that are dangerous and require medical attention. My 5 yo daughter has familial Mediterranean fever syndrome which can result in kidney failure if untreated (med is colchicine). Before we knew this, I was blown off by many docs and her fevers come every 6-8 weeks. Fevers are not always purposeful and need to be looked into when occurring frequently.

  13. Angie says:

    Chamomile tea is also a good fever remedy.
    And I had read that high fevers deplete vitamin A, which is why measles caused blindness and hearing damage, so I always make sure to give my children extra cod liver oil when they have a fever. I took big doses of fermented cod liver oil when I got measles at age 24 (I had been vaccinated against it, but got it anyway–possibly from a baby who had just been vaccinated with MMR). It seemed to help, as I suffered no lasting damage.

  14. ELENA MARSHALL says:

    When I was a child, my father would put banana leaves on our foreheads to cool us and draw the fever out. It worked like a cold cloth, which is what I use now since I do not have access to banana leaves. :o)

  15. Deborah De Block says:

    So, over the past several months I helped quickly treat colds in myself, husband, and daughter using a few different things. My daughter is 19 months old now, so this is controversial to some. I use raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized organic honey that I found at Publix! Only THIS sort of honey should be safe for infants above 6 months old(they don’t have the enzymes present int their tummy’s before then to digest foods anyways) as long as they are healthy. Botulism spores(which are prevalent in nature and other foods) cannot survive in honey since the moisture content is less than 18%. Actually, even if something had botulism spores in it, if our body is well then we should be able to defeat it easily. We know raw honey has many healing qualities; anti-bacterial, anti-viral. I mix the honey with apple cider vinegar(unpasteurized) in some heated water to alkalize the body(for help killing the virus). It’s tangy and sweet and my daughter finds it palatable. I also may just give her bit on a spoon. Raw honey also is good for diabetics since unlike cane sugar, it is a whole food mixed with vitamins and live probiotics and enzymes and has a low glycemic effect on blood sugar even though it is so sweet. We also consume maybe 2 tablespoons a day of coconut oil when feeling sick, although it could be more. Coconut oil gives you energy and the lauric acid helps kills the viruses faster. For my daughter, I might give her a jar of sweet potatoes(warmed) mixed with coconut oil, cinnamon, honey, a little Himalayan salt for her electrolyte levels and minerals, and I’ll open a powdered capsule of probiotics to pour in the sweet potatoes too. We try to stay away from grains and sugars when we are sick since the virus feeds off of sugar. Unless you have a diet that contains wheat and many grains daily, then blood sugar drops are not prevalent when you remove them. We also take Cod Liver Oil for the vitamin D. It’s hard to get my daughter to take this though unless I sneak it into the top of one of her organic pouches of pureed foods. I know garlic is good too, but I hate peeling and chopping it and I’m not sure what to prepare it in.

  16. Natasha says:

    Excellent article. Have you every studied homeopathy? This is a great way to help the fever do its job much quicker than if left alone. It also strengthens the system and is 100% natural.
    Thanks again!

  17. I have never heard of the apple cider vinegar! So glad to find this blog! I am feeling we have a lot in common. Looking forward to being your newest follower!

  18. I use calcium lactate from Standard Process every time my kids get fever. I also use homeopathic remedies (depending on the symptoms). I let them sleep in my bed, especially with high fevers so I can keep an eye on them and keep them comfortable and make sure the are staying hydrated. I think the extra attention and care is part of the healing.
    I’m shocked at how many parents I know will give medicine for 99 and 100 degrees when it’s barely a fever and the kids are still running around playing …

  19. CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) Essential oils can contribute to the health and wellness of the whole family. They are especially adapted to the needs of children who resist swallowing a pill or gooey fluid, or being made uncomfortable in the process of “treatment”. Peppermint oil is fabulous for helping with a fever; Lavender is calming and pain relieving. There are many excellent essential oils and related remedies to empower parents in the care of their family. Using oils has changed how I view illnesses and what I- and my children- do when we are hurt, ill, or just out of sorts.

    • Lisa says:

      A little tidbit to add to the conversation about oils:

      Essential oils can cause stress to the immune system of people who are not compatible with them. They should be tested for compatibility before using.

      I used Thieves oil to treat a strep infection in my throat. While it partially killed the strep in my throat, it moved the bacteria through my body into my urinary system.

      I found out that I am incompatible with all of the essential oils I’ve been using, and my body has been treating them like toxins. I was surprised to find out that natural remedies are potent and can cause harm, too.
      Thought I would spread the word… :)

  20. This made me laugh: “Stick to a good, old-fashioned digital thermometer for the best accuracy.” Since I am someone who grew up with reel-to-reel tapes for music, I never thought I’d hear “old fashioned” and “digital” in the same sentence.

    Wonderful post!

    • Becky says:

      Ha! I thought the same thing! I was thought, “‘old fashioned digital’? Aren’t the old fashioned ones made with glass and mercury?”

  21. Catherine says:

    Thank you, Heather, for all you are sharing! I did a search on your site for coconut oil and and this article came up. I do have a questions, if I may: have you compared the Nutive virgin coconut oil with the Radiant LIfe coconut oil? I think the price is better for the Nutiva brand. Thank you!!

  22. Amanda says:

    Thank you! This is a fantastic resource for me. I’m a first time mommy to a 9 month old, and we both have the flu right now. My fever was up ton 103.8 and I was MISERABLE, so once his hit 101 I broke out the tylenol just trying to keep him from feeling like I did. I’m still torn as to what is best to do for him, but it seems when he’s gone 5-6 hours without it he acts a lot more ill. I’m an oncology nurse, and I’m finding my way further down the “natural” road for my family, but my education and “work” personality still kick in often and cause me to medicate my babe more than I maybe want to. I hadn’t heard of any of these treatments, just cool baths, which seemed wrong to me so we did an almost hot one, which helped us both. Thanks again, looking forward to exploring your site more when we’re up and around full time. :)

    • Colleen B says:

      I love that you say you did a warm bath. I can remember as a child being made to take a “cool” bath when I had a fever and it was not just uncomfortable…it bordered on torture. It was actually painful. So I may use a cool compress on their heads, or even rub it over their skin if they will let me, but I have never been able to do the cool bath. I have, however, allowed my kids to wrap up in blankets to stay feeling warm. They generally sweat and get the chills in there too, but sweating is just another way to get the toxins out and helps our bodies cool off. When I see my child heading in the direction of wanting to bundle, I just keep a closer eye on the fever (to make sure it doesn’t suddenly spike to a place that is scary). But so far, for us, it has worked every time. I think our kids are much more tuned in to what their bodies actually need than we are! We have too much medical knowledge and/or conflicting information thrown at us over the years to always recognize the signals our bodies sends us!!

  23. Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know, Christy! Comments like these make the negative ones worth it a hundred times over :)

  24. Lori Mello says:

    I pinned this post to my “Home Remedies” Pinterest board because it gives lots of sound advice about fevers and their root cause, as well as when more drastic measures need to be taken; so, the next time one of my kiddos has a fever, I can quickly access the information and see which treatment would be best. Thanks for sharing this information!

  25. Carolyn says:

    I love, love, love, hearing about other moms who support the body’s natural way of getting rid of sickness. There is so much hype about reducing fever, and every once in a while I doubt myself for not “treating” it. It’s so nice to have support on this subject. Thank you for the tips!!!

  26. Domini says:

    Lime flower, chamomile, elderflower and yarrow teas are great to aid a fever. Also just stay close to your child and bathe them with a cool flannel. As a medical herbalist I have come across many people, mostly parents of young children, who are terrified of fevers. They would use Tylenol, Calpol, or paracetamol as soon as the child’s temperature increased. This was done because most of them assumed a fever was a negative sign of illness, and not part of the bodies defence and healing systems. The added benefit of these drugs in making their child sleep, was also an attractive feature, in fact I knew several people who would administer these medications to their children, unnecessarily, so they weren’t disturbed at night!

  27. Jill C says:

    There is an older gentleman at our church (probably in his 70s) – he told me a while back that when he was born, he had been a twin. While they were still infants, they both came down with the same illness at the same time – it was horrible, and his mother tried everything the doctor told her to save them. When his brother died, his mother consulted a local American Indian woman, who counseled her to bath the baby in chicken fat. He states that his mother told him that he began recovering immediately.

  28. Colleen B says:

    This is a good article. I just wish one thing…I wish we could retrain our brains pn how to think and talk about fevers and I believe that starts with the words we use. As a parent I have instinctively (and despite contrary messages from doctors) watched my kids and checked on the numbers every so often when they had fevers. However, when my child is sick with a fever, he or she IS SICK! So, no, they generally are not playing and jumping around. They are generally laying on the couch…SICK! But that isn’t reason enough to give meds. In fact, I feel like it is even more reason not to. I want what I like to call GOD’S ANTIBIOTIC to work, because it is better than anything I can give. (Yes, there may be times that our bodies need medical antibiotics…that isn’t what I am talking about here). I try to make them comfortable in the middle, but let’s be real…being sick sucks!! It isn’t meant to feel good. But no matter how your kids act in the middle of one, I wish we could get away from saying “treating the fevers.” I think that is why so many people think of fever as the enemy, as if they are causing the illnesses. We shouldn’t treat the fever, we should treat the illness (ironically, exactly what the fever is trying to do!). You won’t likely know what virus or bacteria you are up against but there are lots of things you can do to help your child’s body fight it…many that you mentioned in this article. So, yes, doing those things eventually leads to fever reduction as your child’s body no longer needs the fever to fight off the infection, but most of them aren’t actually about treating the fever. Our words need to start reflecting that we understand what we are trying to “treat.” We are trying to “treat” the infection, hopefully doing things and introducing and eliminating foods that will assist our body in that fight (such as getting a chiropractic adjustment, giving garlic, coconut oil, cod liver oil, bone broth and reducing or cutting out sugars which the bacteria or virus will feed on, etc). I may sound nit-picky to some because I think some people who say “treat fevers” actually understand that isn’t what they are treating. But every time I hear someone say it, I recognize that they propagating the misconception of what the true problem is. And I feel like once we can all wrap our brains around the difference, THAT is when we won’t fear it, we will embrace it, and we will have confidence to help our babies without calling on our doctors or medicine right away. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for getting this conversation started!

  29. Astrid Reim says:

    My mom, a pediatric nurse (trained in the 60s), used to wrap cool rags around my lower legs and would then wrap towels around that and cover me up to keep the rest of the body warm. In German it’s called “Wadenwickel”. It seemed to always help, although I have to admit that, as a child, I was not a great fan of it.

  30. Fred Fuchs says:

    The best thing I have ever done for a fever worked so much better than any tylenol or motrin ever could. My child was running a 105 degree fever, and I almost took him into the hospital (We know that there’s no reason to go to the hospital for a fever), until I realized that if egg soaked socks work, then it would work even better if you just cracked the egg on the forehead. I WAS RIGHT. I taped cotton balls over his eyes (to protect them) and cracked a fresh organic egg onto his forehead. By way of conduction, the heat transfers to the egg, thereby reducing fever. Within 30 minutes we were fever free. I want to share this with all loving moms out there! :)

  31. Kim K says:

    Love these ideas. Am in complete agreement with your philosophy.

  32. Stacy says:

    We do peppermint oil/coconut oil on the feet with socks and a warm epsom salt bath with peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oils in the bath. It is very relaxing. My son just had a tiny stomach bug last night and fever. We did all this (and have done it all before) and he was better this morning. We also do colloidal silver, cod liver oil and vitamin D drops along with water to drink to boost the immune system. This remedy has been working for us (I have 3 kids).

  33. Monica says:

    My mom used to put a towel soaked with white yoghurt over my stomach, sometimes over my legs, and my arms, it felt nice and fresh.. and made me feel better… and actually doing it with my girls.. if I dont have yogurt I simply soak the small towel with warm water and put it on their head, feet, legs, arms..

  34. [...] on comfort measures. For those that prefer to avoid Tylenol and other pain medications that may delay the healing process, here are some natural alternatives . . [...]

  35. Erwin Alber says:

    Thanks for the great information!

    Here are two more useful links:

    General guidance if your child is sick
    Dr R Palevsky
    http://www.drpalevsky.com/general_guidance.asp

    Fever: when will they ever learn?
    http://www.whale.to/a/butler_fever.html

  36. Lisa Crane says:

    Hi Heather!

    I just re-read your article on treating fever as I have a little one with a fever. I looked at the two different kid’s calcium chewables I have and neither of them are Calcium Lactate (One is Calcium Aminoate and one is Tricalcium Phosphate). Where do you find Calcium Lactate? The last two I bought, they just asked the age of my children and provided “children’s calcium.” I am wondering where to get calcium lactate, and if it is in adult servings how much to give a 2 year old? Thanks for your time and help!

    • Heather says:

      Standard Process makes calcium lactate – it’s usually sold through chiropractic offices. I usually rely on bone broth so I haven’t looked around much, sorry! Regarding dosage, I’d check with the manufacturer of whatever product you end up purchasing. Hope your little one feels better soon!

  37. Lucie says:

    I didnt worry about fewer until our macrobiotic friends 3y son had to be resusciated because he collapsed from febrile when in high fewer. Since than i use drugs to bring fewer down when it is too high.. Sorry for my english, im not native.

    • Kaitlyn's Mom says:

      That’s complete non-sense! Fever can shoot up in minutes- to measure once a day is idiotic. You might get a different attitude if your child goes into a fever induced seizure. Temperatures over 104 can cause brain damage!

  38. Joanne Davis says:

    This is a good sharing oof information about the natural way of treating fever although sometimes when my baby has fever, I still get confused what to give her whether treat her in a natural way or give her a dosage of meds bought over the counter.

  39. Candance Holmes says:

    I am happy I found this post, my 18 month old runs some nasty fevers because of teething and i soak her socks in white vinegar, which helps a lot but I’m going to try it with the apple cider vinegar now! I am also going to get some calcium lactate, do you have a brand you recommend and the best way to get a toddler to take it? I would think to crush the supplement and add it to a drink :)

  40. […] 5 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally by The Mommypotamus […]

  41. […] Here is a great video that I originally saw on an awesome must read article by Mommypotomus: 5 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally . […]

  42. Markay says:

    We did the crushed garlic on my infant granddaughter and it left huge blisters on the bottoms of her feet. It did lower her fever though. I would not leave it on more than 30 minutes on an infant.

  43. […] or still find yourself reaching for the Tylenol when the thermometer hits 99 degrees Fahrenheit, this post from Heather, the Mommypotamus, is reassuring and full of great […]

  44. Andrew Long says:

    Thank you for all the helpful info. I have a 5yo a 2yo and a 9mo. Yesterday and this morning they all have a fever and cough. I hope some of this natural stuff works, I am not a big fan of western medicine. Thanks again for all the advice.

  45. Amanda says:

    I also use a mixture of lavender EO, peppermint EO, melaleuca EO, mixed with carrier oil. I apply this to the soles of the feet and back of the neck as needed to bring down fever. Works like a charm, plus the lavender helps calm and reduce pain.

  46. Lisa R says:

    Yes I have used them. Always use this method and it works everytime if you need to break the fever. A simple cup of hot cinnamon tea. Bundle up and the fever will break and you’ll sweat it out within 5 to 10 minutes. Cinnamon is an anti-pyritic agent, a natural one. :)
    And yes I understand the role of mild fevers in fighting bugs. :)

  47. CA says:

    I totally agree that the actual number on the thermometer is far less important than how the child is acting. When my son developed a high fever last winter, I couldn’t find my thermometer, but it was clear he was burning up and very uncomfortable. I didn’t worry until he started not responding properly, and saying strange things. I was on the verge of taking him to urgent care, when I decided to give one thing a try– vinegar socks. I soaked cotton socks in ACV, put them on his feet and wrapped them up in a towel. 2 minutes later he fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. About 20 minutes later he woke up completely alert and lucid, and was willing to have a lukewarm bath ( to which I added AcV) He went on to have a peaceful night’s sleep, waking only once to request “those socks” I will never forget this experience because it was so dramatic!

  48. […] Mommypotamus 5 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally: Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson advises parents to watch the child, which is what I did. This is where I got the egg white remedy. I read that it acts the same: FAST, in minutes from anecdotes around the web. There is no research on this, but who cares? If it works, it works! […]

  49. Mel says:

    *Gasp* You forgot to include breast milk!

  50. Jacqueline Kizer via FB says:

    Bryena

  51. Rachel Medeiros via FB says:

    Great news!

  52. Jennifer Brock via FB says:

    Great article !!! Peds nurse & almost everyone freaks when their child has a fever

  53. Amber Barrett via FB says:

    Hannah Register for future reference :)

  54. Marta M Diaz via FB says:

    Carmen Cabrer Lacted Jazmin Sanchez Jessica Boger Kristy Bundy

  55. Erika Bumgardner via FB says:

    I don’t like treating fevers with Tylenol or Motrin, but recently my kids ran high fevers 104-105. They didn’t need to go to the ER, they were sipping liquids, etc…. My natural homeopathic, herbal, essential oils weren’t cutting it. So yeah…. I gave them the other stuff. What COULD I have done when everything else wasn’t working?

  56. Cindy Watson Rearden via FB says:

    Jennifer Rearden- Spence interesting

  57. My father use to put banana leaves on our foreheads to “pull the fever out”, no meds.

  58. Naomi Nelson via FB says:

    I think that we are the best when we are left alone for our bodies to heal them selves, God created them to know what to do..unless there is high risk or something major happening then I’m all for modern medicine

  59. Beth Dickerson via FB says:

    Erika- I think this mainly applies to fevers that are lower than that. That is a pretty high fever- I would do the same thing! Plus, at that point, they probably felt horrible with headaches and things, and I would want to treat that, also…

  60. Diane Garrett via FB says:

    That’s fine until they get dehydrated from it and need to go to the Er which is what happened to me.

  61. Paul E. Geer via FB says:

    Cool Saline Enemas help me when I have a fever and provide excellent hydration, even if nausea is present.

  62. Jennifer Miller Neal good stuff!!

  63. So happy I have a pediatrician that shared this info with me years ago. And so thankful for natural remedies that help my family feel better!

  64. Sandra Houston via FB says:

    The key is don’t let them get dehydrated, Diane. I let my sit in a tub of water to play if I think they are getting dehydrated. Yes it lowers the fever a bit but this is only if I can’t get them to drink. That being said I have 5 kids and never dealt with dehydration with them and don’t lower fevers 99.9999% of the time.

  65. Jennifer Harvey via FB says:

    Finally! I have been saying for years to let a fever alone. A fever is GOOD. It means the body is doing its job to fight the germs. It’s not good to interfere with the body’s natural process. Any fever up to 104.5 should be left alone unless the person is extremely uncomfortable, delirious, or having other scary symptoms. The fever is not the enemy! Our bodies will not allow a fever to go too high except in extreme cases such as poisoning or other rare occurrences. I once had a dad ask me what to do about his daughter’s fever. I told him if it was approaching 105 to get to the ER because it may be something serious. In the night it went up to 105 and he took her to the ER. Turns out she’d been accidentally poisoned with chlorine tablets for a pool while visiting someone’s house. She needed medical care and the fever was not the enemy, it was a signal that something was wrong.
    So many people are terrified by fevers because of what we have been taught. It’s about time the truth comes out… treating the fever can be more harmful than letting it go. The conventional meds for fevers are dangerous and bringing down the fever unnecessarily is counterproductive.

  66. Summer Miller via FB says:

    I give my girls a warm bath if they need to cool down. By the time they get in and relax, the bath becomes tepid and they are cool. If you do a cool our cod bath, it increases shivering and exacerbates the problem. Sometimes, ice cream. Sometimes homeopathics. Whatever works depending ppb the child and illness.

  67. Trisha Schmidt via FB says:

    We use 100% natural essential oils. Peppermint will naturally reduce the fever while killing the bacteria causing the fever.

  68. Jodi Rivard via FB says:

    While I prefer natural methods as well, fever is not to be taken lightly. As a NICU and pediatric nurse, I’ve seen febrile seizures more than I care to admit. A high fever can cause very serious effects. People really need to understand both sides and not take fever lightly. Not to mention its very uncomfortable for the child.

  69. Why does it take the medical community SO long to listen and adhere to common sense, and natural ways of curing sicknesses?

  70. Jackie M James via FB says:

    Great info. My son has had 4 febrile seizures in his little life. Very scary to watch, especially when he would fall and hit is head. It always made me sad to have to pump him full of meds to reduce the fever. Fevers are good and work to fight infection. I found it hard because he has had Celiac Disease and his bad gut flora could have caused a lot of issues from the start.

  71. Chrissy Taylor via FB says:

    @ Ericka.. My general rule is to treat with NSAIDS at 103. Im not a hard core enough to let it go higher than that. Fortunately I havent had many issues with high fevers. I will admit to giving NSAIDS so that I can send my child to school so that I can work. Somebody has to feed the sick kid.

  72. Jennelle O'Leary via FB says:

    Febrile seizures are caused by a rapid increase (or decrease) of a fever. Not by the actual high fever itself.

  73. Brooke Shambley via FB says:

    I’ve had both an MD pediatrician and a naturopathic doctor tell me not to use Tylenol on my son. One attributes it to childhood asthma and the other said it can cause to autism. Either way, I’m not about to use it to break a fever.

  74. Janice Lizardo via FB says:

    Berenice Payan

  75. Steve Rogers- something to consider for next time.

  76. Sara Decker Spencer via FB says:

    Finally!! I cannot tell you are LIVID it makes me that fever reducers for infants are a toxic cocktail that I felt incredibly guilty every giving my child until I found natural ways to bring it down!!

  77. Janice Lizardo via FB says:

    Janice Lizardo

  78. Valerie Ritter via FB says:

    We use Young Living peppermint & lemon essential oils to reduce fevers. I get amazed every time with how quickly & effectively they work! :)

  79. Mel Highland Booth via FB says:

    I agree with this and don’t treat fevers (sometimes I have given medication for the pain and discomfort associated with fevers), but my kiddos have never had anything over 102 either. I know of two cases in which a child’s fever led to heartache. One child died, the other ended up with severe cerebral palsy, but in both cases the mothers actually did treat with medication for the fevers. The fevers spiked too quickly for medication to work on time to save the children from the damages. The point of me saying this is that I believe in cases where fever is going to be this damaging I don’t think there is much one can do with or without medication to prevent these rare complications.

  80. Rae Chelle via FB says:

    Darvie

  81. Chrissy Taylor via FB says:

    I meant to say I treat fevers above 103. So at 104-105 I will give the NSAIDS.

  82. Thanks! We’re battling hand , foot & mouth with a 102 fever & I needed to read this! I did actually get acitominiphen suppositories for the mouth/throat pain (so he would nurse). I felt better about that than the artificially flavored & colored syrup stuff (which seems to have been making him throw up!)

  83. I want to try an ACV bath but he has a diaper rash from the HF&M. Do you think the ACV would hurt him on his rash spots?

  84. Elaine Dieball via FB says:

    Wow!

  85. Erik says:

    You are quickly becoming one of my favorite sites. Thank you for all of your efforts and for being a voice of reason above the chatter.

  86. My two year old currently has a fever, this was perfect for me today!

  87. Melissa Hosay via FB says:

    Julie Myers info for you – with much love <3 :-)

  88. Laura Claire Leighton via FB says:

    Rebecca Scott

  89. Leslie Stone via FB says:

    Michelle Bryant

  90. Leslie Stone via FB says:

    Kati Roberts

  91. Casey Staats via FB says:

    My daughter just had a fever of 104. I used homeopathic remedies and essential oils and she did fine.

  92. Laura Drew via FB says:

    My daughter used to get bizarre, routine fevers every month until she was 2. They were always high (104+) so I gave her Tylenol when she reached 103 and/or seemed uncomfortable. I always prefer natural methods but I’m not going to make my child suffer when there is something that will ease the pain and help her rest. We started giving her probiotics and she hasn’t had her fever illness since :-)

  93. I’m not a fan of fever reducers either but I have never had a doctor tell me a fever would fry my child’s brain cells. Just the opposite in fact. I’m 100% for natural remedies when possible but I’m not for bashing the medical community or making them out to be idiots either.

  94. Brittany Gilbreath Shannon Fuller Mary Coney Kimberly Berman this is interesting.

  95. Kila Tequila via FB says:

    What about fevers when a child is teething?

  96. Sheryl says:

    I had febrile seizures from about 6 months old til 5 years old. They were chronic. My temp would go from 98.6 to 106 in about 5 minutes. They never discovered the cause of them. I was on phenobarbitol for 5 years which helped control them somewhat. My normal body temp is now 99.9 to 100. I believe my hypothalamus did/does not function correctly. I later developed multiple allergies (which are now all gone except 2), idiopathic angioedema (swelling of the throat due to triggers you are not allergic to), rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia. My son got a febrile seizure from his MMR immunization and had to be put on phenobarbitol for 6 months.

  97. Heather Day via FB says:

    Another good natural reducer is peppermint oil essential oils. I dilute mine with coconut or olive oil and rub on the bottoms of the feet or around the navel. Especially when they have nausea associated with the fever.

  98. Nikki Marcum..thinking of you with your sweet girls fever!!

  99. Ambre Sautter via FB says:

    Sharon

  100. Darlene Ward via FB says:

    I learned years ago during a heat wave in Texas that fevers do NOT damage the brain! What damages the brain is the disease that causes the fever. The body is actually fighting off bacteria and viruses when it is hot. There are treatments that require feverish patients to hug heating pads and drink hot liquids to keep up the heat! We need to lose this myth that fevers hurt the brain. It should go the way of thinking that being cold causes a rhinovirus. It doesn’t!!

  101. Tammy Gallagher via FB says:

    Barbara Gallagher-Moore

  102. Lauren Dartt via FB says:

    I was just wondering about this!!

  103. if you’re miserable with a fever, you should be sleeping through it anyway! let the fever do it’s job! you don’t need to feel a little better so you can function–you need to get well, and that fever is your body fighting.

  104. Nancy Gardner via FB says:

    I find it interesting that there are always stories brought up about a fever gone wrong. That’s an exception to the rule. Most of the time, a fever is not something to get freaked out by. Last week my son had a fever, I let him rest and drink fluids. By the end of the day he was more active and the next day he had no fever.

  105. Jason N Pauline Gault via FB says:

    It’s a lot of work, but keeping them wiped down with a cool rag works wonders to bring a fever down. I let my kids run fevers so long as I can bring them down and keep them comfortable with natural methods and don’t let them get too high. My kids are rarely sick and the fever is helping them fight off the infection/illness. I will *occasionally* have to reach for the Tylenol (or Motrin for a really high one) to bring it down and keep it from spiking at night, but we manage well with all natural methods for the most part.

  106. Ashley Bristow via FB says:

    I never reduce!

  107. Denny, you might want to show this to Craig :)

  108. Ashley Bristow via FB says:

    I give them warm baths and blankets to help their body sweat out the toxibs quicker… always works :)

  109. Micki Ramirez via FB says:

    Jason Ramirez

  110. Benitta Nissen via FB says:

    My GP told me this 8 year’s ago with my oldest. Best advice ever. I have moved countries in the mean time and here they can’t understand that I am not constantly checking my childrens’ temp. If they are comfortable, that is all that matters.

  111. Paula Steenwyk via FB says:

    To a certain point I will not use a reducer. However the last time my son had a fever he became lethargic and VERY slow to respond…THAT is when you need to use a reducer along with a bath! My doctor is fantastic and is typically more natural and she agreed that a reducer at that time was indeed necessary with strict instructions if it didn’t take it down(or becomes unresponsive) at all to take him in to find out the underlying cause!! Any fever as long as they are acting somewhat normal should be okay left alone…

  112. Paula Steenwyk – In the post I mention several signs doctors say indicate the need to seek help. Lethargy is one of them for sure!

  113. Sarah Rushton Woollums via FB says:

    Jason Richardson

  114. Holly Anne Jorgensen via FB says:

    If you keep it from spiking you’re sabotaging your child’s immune system! The spike it EXACTLY what kills the pathogen. Then it’s over!

  115. Holly Anne Jorgensen via FB says:

    My daughter, when she was younger, had one fever one night if 105, one of 106. She certainly has zero brain damage. Is all in advanced learning classes and honors. Since those big illnesses in her youth too, she now barely ever gets sick! Now in the last five years I don’t think her fever gas gone above 102 ever.

  116. Holly Anne Jorgensen via FB says:

    One thing I don’t get in the article- baths jack the fevers up and down really quickly. Even tepid ones. This can definitely induce febrile seizures.

  117. Holly Merrick via FB says:

    Oliver Merrick- thought you might like to read. :)
    Leo Pagliei- take a look at some of the natural cures for your cold.

  118. Paula Steenwyk via FB says:

    Mommypotamus, sorry I didn’t mean to sound aggressive, just agreeing (and giving my example of when we needed it:-) im glad this is finally being brought out main stream….too many people are giving meds when it is completely unnecessary!

  119. Lily Rodriguez via FB says:

    When me and my toddler had high fever all we did was sleep all day together, drink fluids and eat in bed. We got better in 4 days but the person who gave us the virus took 2 weeks to get better with antibiotics.

  120. This comes just in time as my boy came back from the UK with a temperature, cough and runny nose. I did lemon socks, thyme and sage tea and homeopathic cold remedy .. he’s sleeping now and still hot but will not give him any reducers as that means that the illness gets longer or comes back the week after… just a couple of nice quiet days and he will be better…

  121. As long as it’s below 104, it’s fine to let the fever do its job. Above 104 and there is the potential for serious damage.

  122. Cerin Parsons Plante via FB says:

    For two of my children I never break a fever unless there are other signs that they need me to. I think that’s happened maybe twice between their nineteen combined years. Obviously, a fever serves a purpose. With the youngest however, I do end up having to break his, or it triggers an asthma attack. When I break the fever, it helps break that asthma cycle. That was a very hard system for me to accept, since I’m generally not for fever breaking. But for him specifically, it’s safer not to get the fever. And yes, that makes it take longer for him to conquer the initial illness, than it takes his brothers. But his body has learned to figure it out.

  123. Ashley Hornback via FB says:

    Stephani Carmichael Cannon, read this!

  124. Caterina Sgueglia via FB says:

    Marisa Nadia

  125. A fever greater than 104 in a child is dangerous!! You’re not “sabotaging your child’s immune system” by bringing there fever down, that’s nonsense. Some kids walk around with a fever while sick but show no signs of it bothering them. However, some children stop eating or drinking because they feel so sick from the fever. It’s this case scenario that requires comfort measures because remaining hydrated during a period of fever is a top priority. Natural methods for low grade fevers (100-103) can work. These include cold drinks, tepid baths (not cold baths), cool washcloths to the armpits and forehead, and removing excess clothing. If the fever is reaching a dangerous level, or your child is not drinking, Tylenol should be given along with natural methods unless you wanna risk brain damage and severe dehydration. Fever definitely serves a purpose during periods of illness but do not think it can’t be dangerous. I’m all for not dosing your child with a fever reducer at the first sign of illness but one does need to know when it is necessary.

  126. A couple weeks ago all my kids ran a fever. 2 of them 100-101. The third however was worse 102.5-103.4. Never once gave them anything. DH asked me to call the doctor since the one was so much worse. The nurse dropped the phone when she found out I didn’t give any of them fever reducers. I asked her how king everyone else had been sick with this infection, ‘oh at least a week maybe longer honey’. “Great, my other 2 were sick for 18-24 hours. See fever reducing just makes it last longer” he was fine in about 30 hours. Stupid general practices!

  127. I will say anything above 104 it is dangerous. Screwed my niece’s speech really bad. 3 1/2 years later, she still can’t talk normally.

  128. Michele Brown via FB says:

    that’s only because other health and nutritional people got there first and they need to save face

  129. Cynthia Grimes via FB says:

    Prayer ALWAYS first / natural second / medicine third. USE common sense – each person body respond differently!

  130. I don’t even own a thermometer……lol

  131. Gabby Bjorgo via FB says:

    Taylor Cosper save this one in your bookmarks too please??☺️

  132. Candace Granstaff via FB says:

    We use wet washcloths and peppermint oil to help with fevers. I disagree with the statement that fevers are always good. Sometimes, the heat helps incubate the illness. You should let the patient rest, but not sleep through the fever. You must push fluids! Most people and children don’t drink enough water anyway, so this is imperative! As far as OTC fever reducers are concerned, acetaminophen accumulates in the liver, and ibuprofen is hard on the stomach. We only use it when the fever is high and not responding to other methods.

  133. We have 6 kids and some have gone up to 105 and are just fine. The only time we had a bad experience is when I did use Tylenol and she had a seizure. We took her to the ER only to find out that the Tylenol we used was RECALLED. After that experience we only use Young Living Essential Oils.

  134. Danette Franklin Preston via FB says:

    Joe, Tylenol is very dangerous for kids! Read the latest research!

  135. Denise Irene DeLong Litirvenn via FB says:

    Christopher Litirvenn

  136. Danette, a fever greater than 104 and/or dehydration can be lethal to children. Tylenol can be dangerous to anyone if used in excess. There are safe dose ranges for a reason. I would weigh the benefits vs the risk for every situation. Would you let your child’s fever continue to rise and literally cook there brain because Tylenol could also be dangerous? Well in that case I would assure you that the fever is the bigger threat in that situation.

  137. Delma Moreno via FB says:

    Is there a link to that nbc news quote?

  138. Tiffany Frick via FB says:

    I rarely give my children medicine but ill not let them suffer with a fever we do luke warm baths(not too cold bc it causes shivering which makes fever worse) and if that doesn’t bring it down I alternate safe doses of Tylenol n motrin. Ill be damned if my children will lay around suffering with a fever if the correct amount of meds can make them feel better by treating the fever

  139. Delma Moreno – I linked to it in the post

  140. Julie McGuire via FB says:

    We don’t treat fevers unless my kids are super uncomfortable & can’t sleep. In that case, we use essential oils and homeopathics to boost the immune system, not suppress it. Great article!

  141. Latest research on Tylenol and toxicity has been focusing on the fact that Tylenol is in so many OTC products. Some are treating there kid with 2-3 “different” cold medicines while not realizing each one contains acetaminophen (Tylenol). This leads to overdose. Education is needed on these OTC products and not fear mongering. I would wager that uncontrolled fevers have killed way more people than Tylenol.

  142. Tiffany Frick via FB says:

    And my children don’t get low grade fevers they get out of control fast if I don’t monitor them from the beginning

  143. Delma Moreno via FB says:

    Ok I must have missed it thank you , I need a main stream article to prove to my husband that I’m right about not treating fevers lol he’s so old school about stuff like that and freaks out.

  144. Mallory Jennings Nave via FB says:

    Thank u so much for all your posts!

  145. Lyn Haussling via FB says:

    Kelli Pomeroy

  146. Audria L. West via FB says:

    Richard Michael Perez

  147. I’m completely for all natural homeopathic remedies and those are definitely my first choices, but sometimes our gut tells us something else and we have to go with it. I just experienced this with my daughter. 5 days of homeopaths, EO’s, ice packs, lavender with lemon, etc and the , fever wouldn’t break and she wasn’t eating well or drinking well or keeping things down. I chose to get her to the er and get her on antibiotics. Really bad infections. 5 days later and she’s doing much much better. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other. Comparing your child who has had a 106 fever and was fine, isn’t the same for another child who’s body doesn’t handle 106 fever well. It’s just so silly to compare! We have to use our best judgemnts as moms! We know our babies!

  148. I believe all the articles say to treat the child. It’s not a cookie cutter situation. As a nurse I know this all too well. You must treat each situation different and assess your child . If ever in doubt seek medical care.

  149. The best way to bring a child’s fever down is to put onion in their socks they don’t like it but it works

  150. Karla Ramos Luevano via FB says:

    Awesome! Sharon Donahue

  151. Katy Mabry-Joyner via FB says:

    Christina Cannon

  152. Annie Rhodes DeFalco- to go along with what you recently posted :)

  153. Sally Baucus Boydstun via FB says:

    Shannon Dana and Brienna Boydstun Fear Good advice!

  154. Helen Etherington via FB says:

    Whilst I am all for natural remedies, I think some of the information in this article is severely flawed. As a registered nurse I am horrified this article suggests that parents wait 3-5 days of a fever before seeking medical advice. If parents with limited or poor parenting skills read this, there could be serious consequences or even death for some children if they do not get their ill child to a hospital. This is true, not just for immune- compromised kids. Please, please be careful with your children.

  155. A fever is the bodies natural way of healing itself. You should never reduce the fever.
    There are certain levels, that if they last a few days, then yes, get it checked out.
    I have never used anything to reduce a fever and the illness never lasts more than two days. Reducing the fever only extends the illness.

  156. That is advice from our pediatrician.

  157. Funda Kargin via FB says:

    Half this article is nonense

  158. Peppermint oil on the feet will reduce a fever almodt immediately. Only therapeutic grade is safe to use though, so beware which brand you use.

  159. Meghan Gotkin via FB says:

    Peppermint oil, certified therapeutic grade on the feet, and back will bring down a fever. And rubbing alcohol on pulse points, inside elbows, anywhere major blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin

  160. Kath says:

    Thank you Heather for the great reply. My co-worker has a daughter who is now a vegetable because her fever got up to 107. The high fever did do considerable brain damage. I too am open to natural healing practices, but there is a time when common sense is the best answer, and leaving a child at home with a 105+ fever and putting eggs on their heads or garlic on their feet just won’t cut it. Don’t forsake your child’s health in the name of “natural” remedies.

    • Lisa says:

      I agree with above comment. Use best judgement when the fever is high. Even low fever can lead to febrile seizures. I have that worst experience with my child. Use natural remedies along with conventional treatment.

  161. You don’t “treat” a fever because it is a symptom not a disease. Fevers are beneficial and essential in eradicating viruses and bacteria and it is an immune system response. A fever of 104F should be watched closely to make sure it doesn’t go higher. Treating the cause of fever (usually infection) is the proper course of action. There are many natural ways to support the body’s healing process. If you have questions about this feel free to private message me. Warmly. Dr Kat

  162. Robline Davey via FB says:

    Alvina Daryl Snell now peds are recommending? Wonder how long that’ll take to catch on. ;)

  163. Diamond Vi via FB says:

    What a horrible article. This lady gonna get people hurt. They’re basically telling the majority to diagnose their children without a background in medicine. Not to mention there are no references as to where the information comes from other than some doctor on YouTube who may not even be licensed for that matter. I see a bunch of parents that take this mommypottamus’s word as gospel and now know just enough info to hurt there children

  164. Sure Lindsey, I see this when Ethan has the flu, fever up to 105°, and I’m giving him fever reducer!!! :-(

  165. Diamond Vi – The recommendations in this post are not from me, they’re from qualified healthcare practitioners and sources such as the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, a doctor at Loyola Medicine, and a report published in the prestigious Journal of Pediatrics, not to mention other physicians.

  166. Helen Etherington – As a point of clarification, that recommendation comes from pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson. According to her, medical attention should be sought if a fever persists for 2-3 days, unless the child is running around and acting fine, then she says up to 5 days.

  167. Joe Boyd – The new report in the Journal of Pediatrics specifically contradicts the idea that a high fever will “cook” a child’s brain. Also, I do mention in the post that doctors recommend seeking medical attention if a child becomes dehydrated or stops responding well.

  168. Frying brain cells?! That’s absurd. Fever is the body fighting disease. It’s a good thing! We just have to control it.

  169. Laura Joanna Myers via FB says:

    I had three different pediatric doctors at a children’s hospital when my son was ill who said there is NO danger from a fever, even if it is high and/or causes seizures. The danger is the illness causing the fever. Fever reducers (medication or natural methods) are only for the child’s comfort. My son ran a fever of about 102 for 10 days (viral illness with a rash – we’re still not sure what it was).

  170. April Ridgel via FB says:

    Hmm I curious how many adults heed this same advice for themselves? (Sincerely asking) if an adult is sick for 3-5 days do they not take conventional meds?

  171. Diana Cote via FB says:

    we were weaning when daughter got sick with a fever, breastfeeding her got her all better by the next day. it’s crazy how well that worked. :)

  172. Great question, April Ridgel! I can’t remember the last time I took a fever reducer, it was a looooong time ago! Interestingly, I don’t have illnesses drag on like they used to so I’m sick for 2 days max. Part of that may be because – as the Journal of Pediatrics report mentions – allowing a fever to do it’s thing often shortens the length of the illness.

  173. I could NOT disagree more. This article is ridiculous. Why do people believe everything they read?!?!

  174. Helen Etherington via FB says:

    Thank you for clarifying, but I understood clearly the first time. The risk of uninformed parents taking this information on board is very serious. I have enjoyed your posts in the past, but am very concerned about this article, there is not enough balance here.

  175. Helen Etherington – Thank you for following up. What would you add to the post if you could?

  176. Mommypotamus – it is well documented that fevers over 104 are dangerous and should be treated immediately. You can’t stand on just one journal article as proof of some new, revolutionary finding. That’s just irresponsible. You need many peer reviewed articles of research that supports this idea that a high fever is not harmful. Brain cells begin to die at high temps. I’m sure the exact temp where this begins to happen is still of much debate. Regardless, have your child seen for a fever over 104. That is what the consensus is right now in the medical community. Better to be safe than sorry. Brain cells to not regenerate. Please do not take one journal article as gold. Do your due diligence and find several others that have come to the same conclusion before making recommendations.

  177. Rita F. Petersen via FB says:

    Am I reading the same article as those of you who disapprove? I’m confused. What brought you to like this page? Most of us who are fans are looking for a less conventional, less mainstream and more natural way to raise our children. I, for one, would love to use an alternate solution rather than drug my child just to reduce a fever. I am also not heartless. If my child is clearly uncomfortable, I have used over-the-counter fever reducers in the past. This article is pretty much in line with my pediatrician’s philosophy. My children do not see a holistic doctor. They go to a regular pediatric office the follows the guidelines of the Academy of Pediatrics. This article is not asking you to make dangerous choices. It’s basically giving the same advice a doctor’s office gives when you call and ask questions if your child has a fever. My pediatrician believes the the fever needs to do it’s job, which is help the body respond to the infection. Those of you that disapprove are behaving as though she is recommending a snake bite to reduce the fever. Look at the article again. It really is not as far fetched as you believe. Thank you for posting mommypotamus. My son has a fever I am monitoring as we speak and this article could not have come at a better time.

  178. I am a registered nurse and I actually just had this conversation at work with an excellent pediatrician with whom I work, who did this as a research project in med school. The brain sets the thermostat, so to speak, and will not ‘cook’ itself. If the body’s temp rises due to an external source (in a car on a hot day, for example), yes it will overheat and ‘cook’ and damage will be done. But not when it’s the brain as the body’s command center fighting an illness. As long as the child is coherent, hydrated, and urinating, there is no need to be concerned. We get fixated on numbers; the state of the child is more important to watch, and a healthy immune system will do its job appropriately and turn the heat up to what is necessary to kill the pathogen.

  179. Joe Boyd – I don’t mean this in an argumentative way, but I’m curious to know if you actually read the post. Here’s an excerpt in which I share pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson’s recommendation to seek medical attention for fevers over 104F:

    “But do know there are some fevers that do require a visit with the pediatricians. It’s important to seek care when fever persists after 3 days in infants and children, any fever in a baby 3 month old or less, and if fever is over 104 degrees.”

  180. it is very unusual but worth the try

  181. Helen Etherington via FB says:

    Thanks, I think I would have just made it simpler, and more inline with what the photo at the top of the story says ” 5 ways to treat a fever naturally”, explain the natural home remedies you mention and explain how the body combats bugs by raising body temps, but then emphasis that seeking medical attention is very important. Although you do quote paediatricians, and other sources, there will be parents reading this article that may not have wise judgement or medical backgrounds or may be confused and will read this article as : “no need to seek medical advice for a fever for 3-5 days, as its generally ok. ” And that IS alarming. There is a whole lot more factors involved in deciding whether a child is seriously ill than temperature…and more involved than fluid intake and activity levels.

  182. Mommypotamus – Of course I read the post. It’s very informative. I agree with most of it. My main point is that there is a time and place for a fever reducer/pain reliever. I will concede that “cook” was a poor word choice. However, in certain cases a fever can be dangerous and should be evaluated. Just as you pointed out. All natural/alternative methods do not always work. If they did we wouldn’t have a need for pharmaceuticals. They should be the first thing to be implemented though. Can’t put all our eggs in one basket.

  183. Tara Hughes via FB says:

    Why are people arguing over something so trivial? She puts out advice for those that want to live more naturally and if you choose to take the advice, great. If not, move on along. So far the advice I have gathered from her sight, which you have to LIKE to see it, has been a life saver and so have the remedies. This way doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are too mainstream to even consider natural remedies and big pharma loves you! I would never put my child in harm’s way or have her suffer for a second if I could help it…but do believe I will put garlic on her feet before I put medicine in her stomach. Not saying I haven’t when needed, but I do try natural first.

  184. Jennifer Poss Wrves via FB says:

    I dont give fever reducers to my kids most of the time. I have found that it reduces the duration of whatever they are fighting…sometimes in one day! I try to follow the same rules for myself. The pediatrician has always told me it doesnt matter how high the fever gets as long as we know whats causing it. (viruses in our case)…i dont like feeling them hot but i keep them hydrated and resting and i let the body do what its supposed to do!

  185. Jessica Anne Rachel via FB says:

    Can u tell me what is 104 degrees in celcius?

  186. Amber Doran Taylor via FB says:

    Tanya Clark

  187. 104 degrees F is 40 degrees Celsius

  188. Bell's Closet via FB says:

    Love to here a pediatrician say this! We have always had belladonna work wonders also!

  189. Elizabeth Newman via FB says:

    The best stuff I’ve ever been introduced to: Cold Snap™ by OHCO. It has kept my kids very healthy for their entire 7 & 4 years of life. I am so grateful for it, I give it to them daily and have not had to deal with sickness/high fevers/ear infections all of the other typical “kid” stuff. Personally, I prefer prevention over treatment but love the information if anything ever does slip past.

  190. Thank you for this post about natural way of treating fewer,its a great info!

  191. Nichole Jacopelle-Young via FB says:

    Ashley Young

  192. Thanks for sharing! I try to keep my youngest’s down below 102 though, bc he has febrile seizures if it gets much higher. He’s only had a fever twice in his life though. :) I let my eldest go usually. Good info.

  193. frying brain cells? never heard of such stupid stuff..

  194. Thank you for posting this subject on your blog as many parents don’t realize how fevers actually help our bodies to fight off infection & disease & how we shouldn’t hinder those fevers from doing what they were created to do! I’m a strong advocate in using Young Living Essential Oils as a natural alternative to the most common childhood illnesses rather than using potentially dangerous OTC drugs. If you’d like to know why, please message me anytime! I’m on FB! I’ve been a distributor/representative of Young Living since 2007. I’ve used their peppermint essential oil to help my children with illnesses that had high fevers. It doesn’t compromise their health whatsoever & doesn’t lower the fever *IF* the body is not ready for it to lower! In fact, it (& many other oils) helps build their immune systems so their bodies are better able to fight off illnesses naturally. Because essential oils are created by our Maker, they seem to have an “intelligence” about them that know just where to go in our systems to help our own bodies fight off illness. I love using them & knowing that they are safe for my children!

  195. Jackie Brown says:

    Raw Apple Cider Vinegar worked! For Christmas, my niece gave everyone a bad cold. Everyone else’s low grade fever went away after a couple days while my daughters (she’s 2.5 yrs old) was going in to day 4. She wasn’t having the vinegar on her forehead and tummy so I just rubbed a soaked cloth on there feet for about 20 minutes. It’s been 24 hours and no fever since. Amazing!

    Something else that has never failed us is this cough remedy. If you have a cough that is keeping you awake, rub Tea Tree Therapy Eucalyptus Chest Rub (or whatever chest rub brand you like) on your feet and put socks on. Within 20 to 30 minutes, you will be out and won’t cough all night. Seriously…has worked on my entire family every time.

  196. […] Treating a fever naturally I used the garlic foot paste and also the apple cider vinegar method on the littles in the past few weeks/ months and they each worked wonders. I wanted to jump up and down that I didn’t have to pull out any meds!! […]

  197. MomK says:

    So I found your artical and I am a believer in natural healing, but totally believe that meds have their place. I get so overwhelmed with info. There’s so much out there on natual healing, herbs, oil etc. what is a good beginner resource. Something to draw from when you have basic health wellness questions for a family. I went to my herb store and they recommended an encyclopedia!! I’m not trying to become a dr. But I would like to know the basic strengths of garlic and it’s uses or how peppermint oil can help reduce a fever. I don’t want a library— one good book???

  198. […] benefits of a fever, and word is out that some sunscreens accelerate aging and cancer? (source 1, 2, […]

  199. […] 5 Ways To Treat A Fever Naturally […]

  200. Eve says:

    Terrific post! I will be trying a few of this tips on my sick toddler, I gotta say I was freaking out a bit because I dont want to take her to the hospital unless she has to go, dont wanna give her any unneded medicines either

  201. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!)
    Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  202. Amanda says:

    I know this is a “late” reply, but after our son had a temp of 105 tonight, DH got panicky and went out and bought Tylenol “just to have it on hand.” We aren’t going to wake him up just to give it to him, and now, after reading this, I really wish we didn’t spend the money. I usually listen to my “inner mommy” and I really wish that I had read this BEFORE going to the store! I think if he wakes up again, I’ll try the vinegar remedy first. Thank you for this post, as it soothed that voice inside my head that panicked.

  203. […] We opt for essential oils and homeopathic remedies when we are sick and have learned that a 100 degree fever does not call for a dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but that is another topic. […]

  204. […] This post written by Mommypotamus gives 5 natural remedies to treat a fever. I didn’t use any of these, but was considering using the egg white or garlic paste method if his fever didn’t drop by a certain time. Thankfully, his fever dropped a degree in an hour and I just let it run it’s course with the aid of essential oils. […]

  205. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this article.

    Do you know the dosage to use for calcium lactate for children? I cannot find any guidelines anywhere, even though it is recommended on many websites.

    Thank you,
    Lisa

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