A fever is the body’s natural defense towards an infection. A fever is not an illness, but it is a sign of an illness in the body. What this means is that fevers help your little one fight whatever is making them sick. And while everyone has an opinion on the “magic number” that means a fever has become too high, it’s best to call your pediatrician for their advice rather than relying on what you may have heard. Some people will tell you that you should worry if a fever reaches 100 degrees, others will suggest that you can wait to see a doctor until a child’s temperature has gone over 103 degrees. Your pediatrician will have their own recommendation.
In the mean time there are natural remedies you can use to reduce a child’s fever and keep them comfortable. Below are a few ideas that all families can use when faced with climbing body temperatures.
1. A tepid bath is a common method for bringing down a fever. You can even climb into the bathtub with your child and cradle them, especially if you are the parent of a younger infant. Do not bathe or shower your little one in cold water, instead keep it warm, not hot, and take them out once the water begins to cool. Water that is too cold can shock a body with a high fever. You can also add chamomile or apple cider vinegar to the bath. Chamomile can be calming and soothing while apple cider vinegar has been said to draw out fevers.
2. Draping a cool rag over your baby’s forehead can help reduce high body temperatures. Simply fill a shallow bowl with cool water, again not too cold, dip in a wash rag, and wring out excess water. Place the damp rag over your child’s forehead, and repeat as it starts to warm. Be sure to keep a dry towel nearby for drips and wet hair.
3. If you have a small infant or toddler, practicing skin-to-skin contact with your baby whenever they are sick can be comforting for the both of you. In addition it can help stabilize a child’s temperature. Although skin-to-skin is mostly practiced directly after birth, there is no reason why an older child can’t receive the same benefits. As a bonus, nursing mother’s will find that skin-to-skin nursing can help them bond with their baby.
4. Rubbing pure aloe vera gel on a feverish child’s body can lessen a fever. Because aloe vera gel is refreshing to the touch, it can also cool down skin. Any lotion can have the same effect, but aloe vera gel will stay cooler longer. Aloe can also be used to treat burns, itching, and small wounds.
Once you’ve successfully lowered a fever, you will want to make your baby as comfortable as possible. This can include dressing them in cool, cotton clothes, making sure they drink plenty of water and fluids, and letting them rest as much as they want. These things might not decrease a fever directly, but they can make all the difference in helping a baby remain calm and peaceful when they are feeling unwell.
All children experience a childhood diseases at some point. If your child’s illness leads to a fever stay calm, talk with your pediatrician, and try the tips above to naturally reduce their fever.