The Importance of a Fever
A fever is the body's natural reaction to infection and should not be feared. In fact, a fever should be considered a good sign that your immune system is working properly and that the body is trying to heal itself.
While a fever can be uncomfortable, it plays a key role in destroying infection because most bacteria cannot survive when the temperature rises, even just a few degrees. It also stimulates the immune cells to become more active to fight the bacteria. When a fever is reduced, the defense against the infection is also reduced.
When is a fever dangerous?
Only a very small percentage of fevers have the potential to cause harm and long-lasting damage. Generally, a fever becomes a concern when it exceeds 105 degrees. In this case, it is important to seek emergency medical care.
The Medical Approach
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen, when used in appropriate doses based on the child's weight, are generally used to manage symptoms of fever in children. Only if the fever is greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit or your child experiences a febrile seizure (a seizure that occurs when the body temperature spikes in a short amount of time), call your doctor immediately or go to an emergency room because it could be a sign of a potentially life-threatening infection.
The Non-Medical Approach
Rest: Sleeping allows the brain to trigger the release of hormones that encourage the body to repair itself. Sleep also gives your body the opportunity to produce more white blood cells that can attack viruses and bacteria.
Drink plenty of fluids: Fluids help remove toxins which speeds up the healing process. Avoid drinks with sugar.
Lukewarm bath or sponge bath: The water itself will not reduce fever, but the evaporation of the water helps to lower the body temperature. Don’t use cold baths, ice or alcohol rubs, as they often make the situation worse by causing shivering. Adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil and/or lavender essential oil to the bath water can help soothe muscles and relax the body.
The Chiropractic Approach
Our immune system is directly connected to our nervous system, and when the body is not in proper alignment we become susceptible to diseases. Numerous studies show that regular chiropractic care boosts the immune system, increasing resistance to a variety of diseases. One particular study found that chiropractic patients had 200% greater immune competence than those people who had not received chiropractic care, and they had 400% greater immune competence than those people with cancer and other serious diseases. The immune system is affected by the nervous system through the connections with the endocrine and the autonomic nervous system. Neurologically-based chiropractic care can keep your immune resistance high by taking stress off the nervous system.