When the body's core temperature rises by 1°F above 98.6°F (37.0°C) the person is said to have a temperature; thus a fever can be defined as a rise in temperature by at least one degree Fahrenheit above normal.
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Temperature fluctuations is actually quite normally experienced by everyone and a child's temperature generally fluctuations by as much as 2°F, above and below the normal; this fluctuation is dependant on many other factors such as emotional stress, the amount of clothing worn by the child, things like the time of day, the temperature of the immediate environment and the level of physical activity the child is involved with.
The normal range of a child's temperature can be usually between 96.8° and 99.4°F especially when it is measured through the means of a thermometer applied to the oral cavity.
Certain physical factors such as dehydration of the body, muscular overexertion, and reactions to mosquito bites, bee stings, and other allergic or toxic reactions can also cause a rise in the temperature of the body. Fever is also common when the body suffers an infection from bacterial or viral agents. When the rise in body temperature occurs in a prolonged manner over a week or more without an identifiable reason or underlying cause than the term fever of unknown origin (FUO) is used as a definition for the phenomenon.
The body's reaction to viral or bacterial attack is the cause of a fever in most cases and such an infection is the most likely originator of a fever. The rise in temperature is caused by the body and a fever is essentially not a life threatening condition but serves to make the body as inhospitable as possible for the infective agents.
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The rise in temperature is the first sign of the body fighting back the pathogens that have invaded the system. The fever makes the internal body a very undesirable place for the viruses and bacteria which do not survive very well in the elevated temperature. Thus the body heals itself or more correctly defends itself through the rise in temperature. The production of infection-fighting white blood cells and also increases with an elevated body temperature; the fever also improves their speed of response and increases their ability to eliminate the pathogens.
The severity of an infection is reflected in the body of an adult by the rise in temperature that occurs once the infection has set in. However, this is not necessarily the case where the bodies of children are concerned. Fever is not a good indicator of the severity of infection or disease in children, for example a child afflicted with mild cold may have a fever of only 105°F, compared to the 100°F that a child with a serious illness-bacterial pneumonia, is likely to have even though the disease is much more serious. Temperature therefore is not a good indicator for the severity of illness in children.
The physiological regulator for temperature is not fully developed in a newborn baby, and this takes some time to develop as the body advances. For this very reason the occurrence of a poor appetite, lethargy and irritability are better and more accurate physiological indicators to assess infection in the body of a newborn than fever.
A doctor should be consulted when the newborn has a persistently elevated or reduced body temperature above and below the normal; in such cases other underlying reasons could be at work in the body and seeking professional help is your best bet.
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One of the most important steps you can take when assessing the condition of your child, is to observe his or her actions in order to find out the cause of the problem. Ask yourself, how sick is the child? Find out by observing and touching his or her body to verify if she is pale or flushed, if she has a fever, does he or she feel hot to the touch, is the skin sweaty or dry in texture?
These are the types of things that you must try to find out. Some things that you must try to find out are whether your child is restless; does his or her body ache? Is sleeplessness a problem? Has he or she suffered a loss of appetite? This are important factors to verify the condition the child is in. Watch out for other symptoms that accompany the fever, these can give you a clue as to the type of disease or condition he or she may be suffering from.
For example, a child with fever who also has red spots forming on the skin along with a runny nose, and reddened eyes and increased sensitivity to light which is perhaps more than usual, may possibly be afflicted with measles; the observation of these symptoms will give you an early warning, but a doctor will have to confirm the fact. A child coming down with chickenpox will have fever along with red and itchy spots forming all over his or her body. The presence of a reddish-pink rash and swollen glands in the region of the neck along with a fever may be an indication of roseola in a child.
Sometimes children down with a fever do not require any intervention or treatment. In fact, the use of anti-pyretic medication is unnecessary if the temperature does not 102°F above normal. An elevated body temperature however, can cause a great deal of discomfort to a child in other ways even when the use of medication is not required.
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Appetite is lost in children with a fever and the child is also unable to get enough rest and relaxation because of the rise in the body's core temperature. The entire body from the head to the feet may ache and become sore. The overall metabolic rate of the body is also increased by the fever and this can have other adverse effects on the child. It becomes very easy to lose a lot of weight and the child may also in addition undergo some dehydration.
Complications such as dehydration because of the loss of body fluids can be prevented by gently bringing down the body's temperature; this also makes the child feel a lot better and helps him or her deal with the stress.
Further diagnosis and treatment become possible when the body's temperature is brought down and the very lowering of the child's temperature makes treatment possible and enables the rapid recovery of the child from the fever.
Whatever the cause of the disease and whatever the symptoms produced, a child with a temperature of around 103°F or more will feel and look terrible, even if the cold or fever is mild in causation or extreme. Once the temperature has been lowered to some extent; even a child with a cold will begin to look and feel appreciably better, if this does happen, than it simply means that the discomfort was in fact a direct result of the fever.
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As opposed to this type of fever, a child suffering from a fever caused or brought on by other severe and extreme diseases or conditions will keep feeling a great deal of discomfort and will remain sick even when the temperature is lowered to an extreme degree.
A condition known as a febrile seizure might affect child with fever under certain conditions. This condition is a disturbing condition to observe and these seizures thankfully only occur in a very small percentage of children who come down with a fever.
These seizures are related more to the physical characteristics of the children or their genetic predispositions rather than to the intensity of the fever, or to the rapidity with which it occurs. These seizures are recurring and occur at least once again in about fifty percent of children who have suffered at least one incidence of febrile seizure.
And in all children who have been affected by these seizures at least once, a third attack occurs in at least thirty-three percent of them. Therefore there is a good chance that a second attack of febrile seizure will affect your child again if he or she has experienced it at least once during the incidence of a fever.
There is no permanent damage caused by these seizures in the affected child even though it may be very distressing to observe a child experiencing a seizure, moreover besides causing no permanent harm to the child, these seizures are also not connected in anyway with conditions such as epilepsy or any other form of disorder that might bring on bouts of seizures.
To prevent the chances of a recurrence occurring again, it is best to consult a doctor and let him examine the child for any underlying conditions and to rule out other probable causes of seizures; this step must always be taken after a child has suffered an attack of febrile seizure at least once initially during the occurrence of a fever.
For example, even a day spent at an amusement park is sufficient to bring some children down with a fever. While other children often run a fever only during the course of a serious illness which has affected them. The severity of a fever affecting your child will best be judged by you through careful observation. Immediately consult your doctor if the condition of your child makes you feel uncomfortable in any way.
Many of the herbs given here can be brewed to make a fever-reducing herbal tea; the consumption of these teas will aid in inducing perspiration and in decreasing chills in the fever affected child. Make a combination herbal tea to treat fever in a child from one or a mixture of the herbs or herbal parts such as the leaves of the lemon balm , the flower of the chamomile, the leaves of the peppermint, the root of the licorice herb, and the elder flower.
Perspiration is promoted by the lemon balm along with the elder flower; these also have a soothing effect on the body of the child. The body of the child is relaxed through the actions of the chamomile; the herb also calms the child down. A high temperature can also be brought down by the peppermint.
The herbal combination tea can be sweetened by the use of the licorice in the tea and this herb also enhances the effects of the other herbs in the mixture. The tea can also be sweetened using a bit of honey, instead of licorice-this option also gives a different flavor to the tea. Allow for at least an hours time to pass between the consumption of peppermint tea and the consumption of a homeopathic remedy.
One day of treatment for a child above two years of age can be half a cup of herbal tea, to be taken four times at set intervals throughout the day as long as the treatment regimen continues or as and when needed. The mother of an infant will have to consume the herbal tea for her baby especially if the baby is still being nursed, hence dosages of the tea for a nursing mother will be a single cup of the tea, to be taken four times at set intervals throughout the day.
Taken this way, the herbal properties of the tea and the beneficial effects will pass via the milk to the child, thus the healing properties of the tea benefits the baby indirectly and also aids the mother. Such herbal teas are to be consumed as hot as possible, that is, soon after they have been prepared.
For your attention: children below one year of age cannot be given herbal tea containing honey in it, even if it is just for sweetening the concoction. A life threatening complication called infant botulism affecting some infants has been linked to the consumption of honey.
The use of an Echinacea and goldenseal combination formula can help the child rid him or herself of possible underlying causes of infection. Both of these herbs are very effective in fighting off infections in the human body and both have proven capabilities besides being effective in their immune-boosting effects and their ability to ward off further attacks from pathogens and other germs.
For a total treatment period of eight hours, children can be given continual dosages of one single dose-every two hours. This initial dosage methodology can be changed to one of using a single dose given thrice a day for a total treatment period not exceeding one week.
For your kind attention: because of its propensity to lose its effectiveness when used over long stretches of time, children should not be given Echinacea on a daily basis for more than ten days at a time or during a single treatment period. The documented bactericidal properties of the common garlic is well known and extensively used in traditional medicine. The use of the common garlic in any form can help in the treatment of an infection that comes associated with fever in the child.
Children often prefer the capsule form to the raw form as the capsule is not only easier to swallow compared to pungent cloves of raw garlic, but capsules are also odor free. The product label on the tube containing the capsules will have directions for use; kindly follow these age-specific dosage directions. Children can consume the garlic capsule dissolved in hot water or perhaps in a little soup or they can swallow the capsules directly with a little water.
Another effective herbal tea is the tea made from the common ginger. This herbal tea is particularly effective in combating fevers that arise in the child because of the cold, flu, or those that accompany other conditions like a stomachache. This tea can revive children and those kids who tend to always feel cold in the hands and the feet. After letting the child have some of the ginger tea, increase the rate of perspiration in the child and reduce the chills by letting the child under light covers on the bed.
For a treatment using ginger tea the daily dosage should be half a cup of the tea, taken four times at set intervals. Dilute the tea with water or mix some of the tea in a fruit juice especially if the child finds the tea pungent. A little honey can be used as a sweetener, but the child must be over the one year of age, for reasons mentioned above.
Commonly used essential oils for fever:
The following homeopathic remedies are for use against all types of fever in children and can be used at potencies of 6,12 or 30c, at half an hour or hourly intervals in a settled dosage regimen. The frequencies of these doses can be reduced slowly as the person recovers from the illness. These homeopathic remedies are also effective when used at high potencies in the same dosage regimen.
Aconitum is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of children who develop high fever in an abrupt manner and without the presence of any warning signs whatsoever. The physical symptoms present in the child can include what resembles the symptoms that occur during the first stages of a cold caught from drafts and from being chilled in inclement weather.
The symptoms also resemble those observed during shock and those received from being frightened. Some other physical symptoms could be the blockage in the nose, the child's body may feel burning hot, and could become very dry without any discharge whatsoever. The skin on the other hand can sometimes become hot and watery from perspiration.
Physical symptoms can also include the appearance of tingling and burning sensations in the nose, when the child sneezes. The head of the child often throbs and pain is present in the form of a headache. The throat is hot and often dries out, because of reduced salivation in the mouth. When the child tries to swallow anything he may be given over to choking sensations. The condition of the child can often worsen in cold winds and a croupy cough is often present as a further physical symptom.
The child can suffer from psychological symptoms such as anxiety, he or she can also become excessively fearful even about the minor illness affecting him or her, the child also develops fears about death and dying in general. Another physical symptom is the presence of an extreme thirst along with the common cold. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of Aconitum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the fever.
Arsenicum is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of a child with fever in which physical symptoms include the presence of a dry and burning sensation as if a lot of heat was being produced in the body. The condition of the child is the worst around two a.m. Other physical symptoms include the presence of chills with some shivering of the body.
These stop abruptly at around 1-2 a.m. and sometimes around the same time in the p.m. physical symptoms that are typically seen are that the body and the face are that and the hands are cold to the touch. The body of the child produces a lot of watery and acrid discharges from its surface. The child often breaks out in cold sweats.
Psychological symptoms can include the presence of anxiety and despair, the child also suffers from extreme restlessness. There is a near totality of physical and mental exhaustion. The child is always thirsty and keeps taking small sips of water over the day and the night. The condition of the child appreciably worsens when the child is out in the open air or in the cold of the outdoors, and at certain times of the night especially after midnight, the consumption of cold drinks can also aggravate the symptoms.
The condition of the child appreciably improves on the consumption of warm drinks and on the application of heat to the body. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the fever affected child.
Belladonna is to be used as a homeopathic treatment option to treat children with a sudden onset fever, which often comes about because of being overexposed to heat or because of extreme chills. The child may suffer from additional symptoms such as a high fever and delirium. The other physical symptoms may include the presence of a hot and dry skin, with a flushed and bright red face, the eyes may have a glassy appearance and the pupils may be dilated.
The covered parts of the skin usually under clothing develop dryness or it's opposite a lot of perspiration. Other physical symptoms can include the presence of some chills that run down the body. The hands of the child tend to be very cold but the head remains hot. The throat may become sore and is usually bright red in color.
A headache may be felt as a sort of throbbing sensation in the head. The affected child may crave lemon drinks and will thirst for cold drinks in general. The condition of the child can be worsened by an overexposure to light, to noise and to motion, the symptoms also increase in intensity at around 3 p.m., the child is also very sensitive to touching and the condition generally worsens at nighttime.
The condition of the child can appreciably improve when a light covering is put over the child and he or she is rested. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the use of Belladonna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the fever affected child.
Bryonia is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of children with a gradual onset fever. The physical symptoms can include a lot of shivering with chills that are the mainstay of the fever and recur as long as the temperature is high. The other physical symptom may be the presence of the raised temperature only on one side of the body.
The other physical symptoms are the presence of coldness in the body and heat in the head and the flushing of the face. The child may also be affected by sour sweats that break out on the body during the night and in the early mornings. The child may also have a lot of thirst for large quantities of food. The child may be affected by the presence of a bitter taste in the mouth. The other symptoms can include dizziness accompanied by a headache.
The child can also have a dry cough. The condition of the child is worsened in the morning, and at around 9 p.m., the symptoms are aggravated by the very least motion. The condition of the child can improve when the child is rested in the quiet of the outdoors and exposed to open air. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the use of Bryonia as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child affected by fever.
Chamomilla is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of a child with fever in which the fever develops with an intense and long-lasting rise in the temperature of the body, which is immediately followed by the child breaking out into sweats. The typical symptom in such children is that one cheek is reddened while the other one is pale.
The child also suffers from excessive perspiration in the parts of the body covered by clothing. The symptoms can also include the development of a hot and sweaty face, which also affects the head of the child. The child also suffers typical symptom in which one part of the body is hot, while the other part is cold.
The child is constantly thirsty at most times of the day. The child suffers from alternating bouts of chills and increases in the body temperature. The condition of the child is often translated into irritability and he or she may become very demanding and capricious. The condition of the child can greatly worsen if the child is angry and the symptoms are aggravated especially around 9 a.m. in the mornings, the child can also suffer if he or she is left uncovered during the night, symptoms are also aggravated by coffee.
The condition of the child can really improve on him or her being carried or coddled to sleep. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of Chamomilla as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child afflicted with fever.
China is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of children with a recurring fever. The child suffers from great thirst and is affected by frequent chills that run up and down the body. The child is also often affected by the presence of a prickling heat that occurs allover the body. The child is also affected by the formation of drenching sweats and physical as well as mental exhaustion.
Other symptoms such as indigestion and bloating also affect the person. The psychological problems that often come along are persistent feelings of persecution; the child can also become very irritable. Some of the psychological manifestations that often come out before chills include feelings of anxiety, the child can suffer from palpitations and extreme thirst, the child also suffers from a violent headache and from persistent hunger.
The condition of the child can often worsen when exposed to drafts, and if he or she is let out in the open air, when the child undertakes unnecessary motion, if the body of the child is left uncovered for too long, and the symptoms are aggravated by even the slightest touches. The condition of the child is the improved when or after the child has eaten. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of China as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child affected with fever.
Ferrum phos. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of children in the first stages of fever. The physical symptoms that are typical during incidences of this type of high fever are the development of flushed blotches on the face and sometimes paleness or discoloration of the skin.
There is less intensity in the symptoms and the onset of fever is more gradual than compared to the fevers that require Aconitum or Belladonna; moreover there are no psychological symptoms such as anxiety or restlessness in the child. But the child is often very irritable and is also often extremely talkative. The child may also suffer from additional problems like a sore throat or from further conditions like coughing. Another typical symptom is a headache.
The condition of the child can worse at nighttime and in the late afternoons; the right side of the body is more affected than the left. The condition of the child improves on the use of a cold compress on the child, or when the child is lying down. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the utilization of Ferrum phos. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child afflicted with fever.