Getting regular fevers is a normal part of growing up. A young child’s immune system comes into contact with many pathogens for the first time and reacts accordingly. The body raises its temperature as it fights off the infection and this makes the poor child feel awful. A child with a high fever should always be a cause for concern and it is important that you get medical advice. If your child is very young a doctor will want to examine them to determine where the infection that’s causing the fever is located. It could be a throat infection, an ear infection or a urinary tract infection. In rare cases it can even be a serious illness such as meningitis so it is always important that you seek medical advice.
If you have seen a doctor and they have advised you that your child as a mild throat or era infection caused by a virus they may advise you to simply take your child back home and treat them with oral paracetamol or ibuprofen to make them feel more comfortable. You could also try the following, more traditional and natural, remedies to help to reduce your child’s fever and make them feel better.
Tips for reducing a fever in children
Here are some ideas that may help reduce your child’s fever:
- Place wet socks on the ankles. This is an excellent solution for children. Simply dampen them a little and place them over the ankle area. When the socks feel dry, repeat the procedure. Make sure they aren’t dripping wet – you will need to wring them out well. This method brings relief and calms sick children down – it may even make them giggle.
- Wash with lukewarm water. Help your child into a shower for a couple of minutes – start off with it warmer and then reduce the temperature slowly so the change isn’t a shock to the body.
- Drink plenty of water. A fever can cause dehydration and ill children do not always feel like drinking. Drinking water, herbal tea or fruit juices is a great way to get fluids back inside them. If the fever is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhoea you can buy special isotonic solutions to replace fluid and salts.
- Cool down the head and neck. This can be done using a tepid, wet cloth. It soothes the child and makes them feel better. When the cloth becomes warm, swill it back out in cold water.
- Avoid large quantities of food. For a feverish child – liquids are better. A homemade vegetable soup or smoothie would be ideal. The body gets the nutrients quicker and they are easier to digest. There is no need to deny your child food if they really want some but it is best to eat little and often. Beware that some children with a fever tend to vomit.
Homemade remedies for a fever
These recipes can be effective when your child has a fever, though it is always better to consult an expert (such as a natural medical doctor or herbalist):
- Raisin tea: place 1 cup of raisins into 7 cups of water and boil in a saucepan. When it begins to boil, turn the flame down low until the liquid reduces by a third. Turn off the heat, let it cool and drink half a cup throughout the day.
- Sage tea: This herb promotes sweating and reduces a fever. Fill a cup with boiling water and add a couple of sage leaves. Cover it and leave it for a couple minutes. Add honey, sugar or stevia, as well as a few tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Lettuce tea: a great way of keeping feverish children hydrated. It contains a lot of potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus to nourish the body. Make it by boiling a litre of water and the pouring it over a whole head of lettuce. Leave for fifteen minutes. Strain, add a sweetener of your choice and drink before it cools.
- Ice cream and ice lollies. This will definitely be your child’s favourite remedy. The sugar will boost energy and they will reduce the temperature and hydrate the body at the same time.