Natural ways to reduce a fever

In our house, we don’t treat the fever, we treat the child. According to Dr. William Sears, “Fever is a normal and healthy response of the body to an illness. The body’s immune system releases chemicals that raise the body temperature. This is part of the normal infection-fighting process.”  We  see the fever as the body’s way of combating the sickness and instead help soothe our child while his body works on his behalf to fight off the sickness. We tend to only treat medium-high fevers and leave low grade fevers alone. Here are ways to reduce a fever if your child is feeling uncomfortable and is not able to rest.

Please keep in mind though that fevers in a baby under 6 weeks is an emergency and you should call your doctor right away.

Essential Oils
Essential oils are the regenerating, oxygenating and immune defense properties of plants. They very powerful and penetrate the skin quickly. Peppermint essential oil (properly diluted) can reduce fever, it also helps with muscle aches and stomach aches as well. And I know when I get a fever, my whole body aches as well, so it’s a good essential oil to use for fever.

With a child, you’ll have to dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, almond oil or olive oil. We often use almond oil at home. Dilute with a ratio of 1% essential oil in the carrier oil (ie 5 drops essential oil and 1 oz carrier oil). Rub the oils together in your hands and then rub them on the sole of your little one’s feet, where the oil easily penetrates the skin. Then you can also rub oil on his chest and belly. You’ll need to do this several times a day.

Cool damp cloth
Another way to reduce is a fever so your child is more comfortable but the fever doesn’t completely go away is to use a damp cool cloth on your child. You can take off her top and lay a cool damp cloth on her. You can also do this by laying it on your little one’s head. Don’t make it too cold though, just close to room temperature.

Dress baby lightly
During a fever the body is already hot, so dress baby lightly. Avoid heavy clothing, thick blankets that can make the fever even higher.

Technically, when you reduce a fever using over the counter medicines the moment it comes, you’re prolonging the sickness as the body doesn’t get an opportunity to heal itself. The body will try again, the fever will come back and each time it’s reduced it’s prolonging the body from healing. It’s better to ride out the fever, but comfort the child.  A baby under 6 weeks is treated differently and you should call your doctor immediately. Also call your doctor first with a baby under 3 mos old. In our household even a fever that is as high as 104 F is treated naturally and within 24-48 hours the sickness passes since the body healed itself.

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