I get asked this throughout cold and flu season because my friends know that I try to handle sickness as natural as possible! (Obviously, there are times when medication is needed and I’m all for that!) But, I will 100% exhaust my resources for natural remedies to help the body aid in healing naturally. Because our body is MEANT TO HEAL, it’s meant to win. It’s smarter than we give it credit for.
A fever is the body’s natural protection against infection. A fever’s job is NOT TO HARM US, but protect us. And some people assume that the higher the fever is means the worse the infection, that is also false. A fever increases our body’s internal temperatures to STOP the virus or bacteria from replicating and activate our immune system. Certain virus/bacteria can NOT thrive in a warmer environment. When we give our kids (or ourselves) fever reducing medications, it allows the body to drop the temperature back to normal to where virus/bacteria can continue to thrive and grow.
Fever exerts an overall adverse effect on the growth of bacteria and on replication of viruses[15,16]. It also enhances immunological processes, including activity of interleukin-1 (IL-1), T-helper cells, cytolytic T-cells, B-cell and immunoglobulin synthesis. The mobility, phagocytosis and killing of bacteria by polymorphonuclear leukocytes are significantly greater at temperatures above 104 °F. Elevated temperatures of 102 °F and 103 °F have a direct positive effect on lymphocyte transformation, the generation of cytolytic cells, B-cell activity, and immunoglobulin synthesis. IL-1 is more active at febrile temperature than at an afebrile temperature. Interferon (INF), a potent antiviral agent, has enhanced antiviral activity above 104 °F.World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics
Not only are we allowing a better environment for the virus, our symptoms start going away. Fever is gone. Pain subsides. It allows us to continue like everything is fine. NO. This is not good because the fever forces us to rest in order for the body to focus on healing. 1) I don’t want you out and about in society if you are sick. Keep your germs at home AND REST. 2) You’re trying to go against what your body is trying to tell you. It can further delay healing.
Certain fever reducing medications, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), depletes one of our major antioxidants in our body – glutathione. Glutathione plays a big role in our immune system and helps increase our body’s response to killing viruses and bacteria.
What is an ideal temperature?
To me, this is a personal decision! I will allow my children to get up to 104 degrees F. I don’t treat the fever, I treat the child. If my child is crazy miserable, I will treat accordingly to that. Around 104 degrees F and above, I will usually start medication. That’s personally MY comfort zone. As the studies say above, around 101-103 degrees is the sweet spot in really supporting your immune system in healing.
I also LOVE knowing what is causing the fever that will also give me a peace of mind of how I can support my children naturally (and medication, when 100% necessary!). Because fevers can come from the body fighting a common cold to meningitis, etc. As a mom, I want and need to know what I’m up against.
Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6°FU.S National Library of Medicine
If your child is known to have seizures from fevers, treatment may be different for you depending on your comfort level!
Infants have different temperature ranges. Small infants that are 3 months and younger are recommended to be seen ASAP if they have a fever.
What are your thoughts on fevers? What have you always done? Are you encouraged to let the fever ride out and do it’s job next time you or your kiddos are hit with a virus?