I get asked about fevers on a regular basis. “How long will it last?” “How high is too high?” “What should I do for my child when they have a fever?” among others.
Let’s just start with a little background about what a fever is and what it does. A fever is the body’s natural mechanism for fighting infections. It speeds up metabolism to increase heart rate and blood supply where it is needed, producing more white blood cells to devour pathogens, and increasing antibody responses to infection.
Fevers present themselves when bacterial or viral infections begin. Some other symptoms may be present which can help determine what is causing the fever, but some other things may not. Children with strong immune systems may develop a fever with no other symptoms, some children develop fevers faster, and some may react more quickly than others. Everybody is different.
There are also many misconceptions about what constitutes a fever in the first place. We are told that our body temperature is supposed to be 98.6F in order to be considered “normal.” Anything that deviated from that in either direction, is not deemed “normal,” and something must be wrong.
I find it difficult at times to believe that a 30 pound child and 150 pound adult should be at the exact same temperature at all times in order for them to both be considered normal. Everybody is different, and small deviations are ok.
***fever tip: To find what your child’s baseline temperature is, take and record their temperature in the morning, afternoon, and before bed for 3 to 4 days. Take the average of all the temperatures, and this should give you a relatively accurate idea of what their “normal” temperature is. Then, when they aren’t feeling so great, and you take their temperature, you will know how much of a fever they have more accurately. ***
Anyway, I digress…
A fever between the temperatures of 99F and 104F is ok. We see the fever as the illness itself and run quickly to treat it. However, the fever is a SIGN of illness, it is NOT the illness. Introducing antipyretics (fever reducers) can actually prolong the actual issue the fever is trying to fight. Allowing the body to work naturally the way it is supposed to helps fight the infection by itself.
You may want to get your baby checked by your provider to get more information about why the fever is present. Your baby or child may be cranky or uncomfortable, and sometimes that happens.
If a fever is present, giving your baby or child plenty of clean water, and lots of rest can be very helpful. Chiropractors see babies with fevers frequently. By checking their spine, and nervous system, delivering gentle, specific adjustments help stimulate the body in allowing the fever to do its job in the best way it can.
I began Chiropractic care myself as a young child due to ear infections. Under Chiropractic care, I was able to heal properly without medications, and continue being under care today.