We went away for school holidays last week; I took my children up to my Dads to spend some time in the country. It was absolutely delightful. But of course, one evening my nine year old came down with a fever. It's been so long since either of my kids were sick that I forgot how terrifying it is as a parent to see your child unwell. She's always become really alert whenever she's had a fever (chatting away like a crazy person in the dark of the night), but this one was bordering on delirious and it had me quite scared. I slept all night in the bed with her, giving her water whenever she woke up, and lots of calm reassurance. Amazingly, she woke up feeling completely fine in the morning.
It has always seemed counter-intuitive to me to treat fever in my children with pharmaceuticals which are designed to bring the fever down. The fever itself is a first line of defence to a pathogen - it is an immune response mounted by the body to get itself well. The American Academy of Paediatrics suggest that it in most cases is unnecessary to bring down fever with paracetamol. (CITE)
Instead of working to specifically bring a fever down, I work on supporting my kids' immune response;
- giving them gentle, immune-supporting supplements (cod liver oil is high on my list of my favourites for kids, along with Vit. D3, and Vit. C)
- giving them plenty of water
- giving them plenty of opportunity to rest
- and, if they're up for eating - nutrient dense wholefoods (such as easy to digest slow-cooked soups and broths).
And of course I practice the all-important preventative medicine year round by serving a diet made up of wholefoods with sufficient amounts of protein (required for a healthy functioning immune system), and giving them access to plenty of sunshine to optimise their levels of Vitamin D.
If you feel your child's immune system needs some gentle support, get in touch; I'd love to help you.