Author Topic: Fever in Children  (Read 4665 times)

Offline herbdoc

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Fever in Children
« on: October 06, 2010, 02:06:13 PM »
Fever in Children
As a parent, a child’s fever can be worrisome. In the drug-dominated media, we are taught that fevers must be reduced, as is evidenced by commercials of compassionate moms giving their child the “leading brand” of fever-reducer/pain-reliever.  We are taught that unseen pathogens (viruses and bacteria) are lurking in the shadows ready to invade and overwhelm our immune systems.  We are taught that illness is only bad and should be prevented, avoided and gotten rid of as quickly and aggressively as possible.  And there is never a good outcome of being sick.
The pharmaceutical community would have us believe that our bodies are overcome with illness and disease, usually due to no fault of the patient. Our bodies are inherently defective and therein arises a myriad of undesirable symptoms that must be medicated and eliminated.  It stands to reason that if symptoms make us uncomfortable, then they must be bad and as such are the signals from a body that is malfunctioning.  Therefore, eliminate the symptom and the body will be spared from the undesirable effects of illness or disease.
However, let’s assume for a moment that the body has an innate intelligence that does not go haywire, but in fact uses symptoms as course corrections and self-healing.  Rather than jump for a pill at the onset of discomfort, perhaps we should ask the question WHY?  What is the body doing and is there wisdom in what is going on? 
The Usefulness of a Fever
When the body develops a fever, we know that something is definitely going on.  Fevers can result from an infection, due to a virus or bacteria, but also from toxicity. Research science has observed some very interesting associations between infections and chronic illness.  It appears that some specific infections are known to cure certain types of cancers.  It is thought that during an illness the body is breaking down, laying the foundation for rebuilding or reformatting organs and tissues making them healthier and more individualized to the dynamics of the child. This is kind of like working out with weights.  As we work and strain the muscles, which actually results in tissue damage, we also set the stage for the rebuilding of stronger muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones.  A little bit of stress and damage is necessary for greater strength and vitality.  So it is with the immune system.  Illness can be a profoundly healing and spiritual process, and like everything of such gravity, it has its risks and dangers. Our job as parents is to help the child cross the bridge of illness with our loving, caring, intelligent guidance as we experience the natural processes that are at work as our children struggle with their illnesses.
Most medical doctors mistakenly believe in the "anti-body" response of the immune system as the primary method by which the body fights infections. But there is much more to it.  When the body causes a fever above 101 degrees, the heat stops pathogens (virus and bacteria) from replication (multiplying). The fever is the human body's primary generalized immune system response to any infection. Any palliative treatment, which reduces the fever of flu or infections will prolong the infection and can lead to irreparable damage or death. It is thought that full-blown viral pneumonia is often caused by lowering the fever and allowing uncontrolled viral replication in the lungs. Most cold and flu medications are designed to lower fever and thus prolong or escalate the illness.

The Parents’ Attitude
In my twenty-five years as a chiropractor working with natural health care, the most important thing I have observed in determining the outcome of a child’s illness is the attitude of the parents. If the parents have a deep belief that their child is strong and that the illness, as long as it doesn’t become too severe, will serve the child in his future development, their attitude of resolve and confidence will translate into an environment of peacefulness and effectiveness that truly allows the child to rest and to comfortably go through the process. The child must know that the parents are watching for any indication that the illness is becoming too strong and requires more help; the child must know that he can relax and that everything will be okay.
Stay Warm
First and foremost, a child with a fever must stay in bed or in a comfortable, relaxed place. Have the child drink warm liquids as much as possible to encourage the elimination through the kidneys. The child should be kept warm as the fever needs to do its job and be allowed to “burn out” the illness. The bowels should be kept open if need be with a gentle laxative or herbs that encourage bowel movements.
A sick child can listen to stories read out loud, but otherwise the only other appropriate activity is rest. It is best to reduce mental stimulation often causedby computer games, movies, TV, etc. Illness is a serious and energy-consuming task; there is no room for anything else in their lives, only rest and recovery. If parents followed just this simple advice, nothing to bring down the fever, just warmth, calm resolve, careful observation, lots of fluids, keeping the bowels open, and rest, we would have far fewer problems with chronic disease than we have now.

Remedies
Again keeping the channels of elimination open is critical.  The five channels of elimination are the bowels, the kidneys, the liver, the lungs and the skin. 
The child should be having at least one to two bowel movements per day.  If not, have them take a mild herbal laxative, such as Western Botanicals Colon Cleanse Syrup or capsules.
As long as the child is drinking warm herbal teas (sweetened with a little raw honey or maple syrup), she should be urinating every hour or so.  If she isn’t, then she should be drinking more.  Herbal teas, such as peppermint, yarrow, ginger, catnip or elder flower promote the elimination of toxins by sweating as well as through the kidneys .  Western Botanicals Kidney Bladder Formula or Tea can also be taken to speed the elimination of toxins through the kidneys and bladder.
While the liver cannot eliminate toxins directly to the outside environment, it does process and breakdown toxins allowing them to be excreted through the kidneys and the bowel.  Western Botanicals Liver Gallbladder Formula and Liver Detox Tea are excellent products to have around.  The Liver Detox Tea can be used as your general tea to promote sweating as well.
Lung congestion is common and it is desirable that the cough be productive, meaning that the child is coughing up mucus.  Western Botanicals Lung Plus Formula is a liquid that can be taken directly in the mouth or put into water, tea or juice.  This strong and potent formula opens the airways and is an expectorant (gets the mucus/wastes up and out of the lungs).  Herbal Cough Syrup and Herbal Throat Spray are also to be used to soothe irritated and painful throats. 
Finally, toxins (waste products from tissue metabolism and infection) can be released through the skin by sweating. Remember, we can help prevent an “infection” getting out of hand by increasing elimination. The first step is to increase the sweating, which is a major avenue our bodies use in eliminating any debris. In former times, sweating herbs such as peppermint, ginger, catnip, yarrow and elder flower teas were given to all sick children as these diaphoretic (sweat inducing) herbs help the child to “sweat it out.” We all know that many illnesses were gone the morning after a good sweat. These herbs should be given in warm herbal infusions as the warmth further encourages the sweating process. Elder flower is suggested to have its own anti-viral, immuno-stimulating effect while yarrow helps the liver detoxify poisons and peppermint soothes the GI tract.
In addition, the skin can be scrubbed with a natural fiber brush or washcloth to make sure pores are opened and unclogged.  Also a warm bath will open the pores in the skin facilitating the release of toxins.  Adding a cup or two of Epsom or Dead Sea Salts to the bath will also help draw out toxins.
Herbs for boosting the Immune System.
Western Botanicals’ classic immune formula is our Immune Boost.  Children generally use our Immune Boost Syrup, which is an Echinacea formula in a base of cinnamon and maple syrup.  This can be taken 3 to 7 times daily based on the intensity of the illness.  Immune Boost also comes in a liquid extract and capsules.
We also recommend Western Botanicals’ Nature’s C as a whole food source of Vitamin C–rich herbs that contain the whole vitamin C complex – not just ascorbic acid or one of its chemical variants.
Other formulas that can be used – but generally by adults are: Anti-Plague Syrup, Herbal Super Tonic and Immune Virus Tea.  Oregano infused oil can also be taken, 2 to 3 drops under the tongue twice daily. Make sure you do not take oregano essential oil directly as it can burn the tissue.
One very effective combination that many of us here at Western Botanicals use is Anti-Plague Syrup (1 oz.) with Lung Plus (1 dropperful or 30 drops) and Herbal Cough Syrup (1/2 tsp.).  Put it all together in a shot glass and take several times daily.  When anyone at our home gets sick, everyone takes the herbs.
Garlic is also a natural antibiotic, but must be taken fresh for highest effectiveness.  This can be done by crushing and eating a clove of garlic or with a child rubbing a crushed clove of garlic on the bottom of his/her feet; amazingly it is absorbed into the body.  Try this and notice that you can taste garlic on your breath almost instantly.

Food and Drink
Finally, a few notes on the diet for sick children. The food and drink should all be warm to hot, to encourage the warmth principle. During sickness, the protein content should be reduced because the waste that we are eliminating during illness is coming from the protein in our diets. However, fats encourage the healthy production of needed warmth. Fat transports vitamin A, the main nutrient needed to help our immune system. Healthy fats and soup broth should be the mainstays of our “sick” diet. Hot chicken soup, based on homemade broth–the famous “Jewish penicillin”–with cooked vegetables, chopped ginger and a bit of cream or coconut milk is perhaps the ideal sick meal. Generally sick children are not very hungry so the warmth and nourishment of frequent bowls of hot soups is the perfect diet for them. Of course, children should be given 1/2 to 1 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil at all times, but especially when they are sick. It can be mixed with a little water or fresh orange juice, or given with a dropper.

When do you call the doctor?
It is important to keep a balanced perspective on how to best treat your child’s illness.  Realize there is much that you can do on your own, but also understand that there can come a time when you may need some professional assistance.
Seek medical care if a child is suffering from:
• High or persistent fever – every child is different.  A child may have a high fever but is playing and acting relatively normal, which is generally a good sign he’s doing okay.
• Any breathing problems, such as fast, labored or noisy breathing from the chest.
• Persistent pain such as an earache, sore throat, severe headache or stomachache.
• Eye discharge that is thick, sticks the eyelids shut, and doesn’t get better during the day.
• Frequent vomiting or diarrhea and he isn’t able to keep down enough liquids to produce urine at least once every six to eight hours -- this could be a sign of dehydration. Severe dehydration needs to be treated in the emergency room.
• Vomit or diarrhea that contains blood.
• A stiff neck, extreme lack of energy or the illness seems to be getting worse rather than staying the same for more than four to five days.
• Has been exposed to a contagious illness such as mono, influenza or chickenpox or has traveled out of the country recently.
As long as the child remains well hydrated, then we need not worry too much that the temperature will go too high.  But any illness necessitates vigilance as well as patience.

In my view, the absolute avoidance of illness should not be the goal, but rather the building of strong healthy bodies, which have used the rigors of illness as a process of greater health and transformation.  In our fervent quest to wipe out childhood disease–through vaccinations, antibiotics and fever-reducing drugs–we have far too many children who are literally chronically sick and tired. It may be more important than we realize to respect the transformative power of illness, to muster up our courage and not succumb to those who promise better health through injecting us with poisons, or harsh medicines that are becoming less and less effective. As we trust and believe in the healing powers of our children’s bodies, we can give them the gift of confidence in their own strength as they embark on the challenges of adulthood. 

Blessings,

Herbdoc