see also Fever, Fever in Infants
Fever, signalled by body temperature rising above the normal range of 36-37°C (96.8-98.6°F), is the body's way of making invading germs easier to attack and destroy. Dosing with paracetamol may bring temperature down for a while, but will not assist the germ-fighting process, and may even lead to complications. Paracetamol may be given to ensure a good night's sleep or if temperature goes above 39°C (102°F) and child is prone to Febrile Convulsions.
A temperature above 39º C (102°F) is always a cause for concern in a child, so don't hesitate to call your medical doctor if you are worried. If a cause cannot be found, and you are unsure about which homeopathic remedy to give, consult your homeopath. If fever is associated with Breathing difficulties, or with Headache, Nausea and Vomiting, intolerance to light, and a stiff neck, or with a purple rash on the elbows, ankles, and buttocks, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours as child may have Pneumonia, Meningitis, or anaphylactoid purpura.
Fever Without Rash
Causes include Appendicitis (abdominal pain), Middle Ear Infection (earache, child keeps pulling at affected ear), Colds (running nose, sneezing), Measles (early stages), Tonsillitis, Laryngitis and pharyngitis (sore throat, hoarse voice, coughing), Influenza (sudden chills and aches), Bronchitis (a cold that turns into a chesty cough), Pneumonia (breathing problems), Gastroenteritis (diarrhoea), Mumps (painful swelling between ears and angle of jaw), Meningitis (headache, nausea with or without vomiting, stiff neck, intolerance of light), urinary tract infections (pain on passing urine, or wanting to urinate more frequently than usual), Heat Stroke, and some tropical diseases.
If symptoms are those of meningitis, or if respiratory rate climbs above 40 breaths per minute, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours. If child is coughing, wheezing, struggling to breathe or speak, breathing very fast, or turning blue around lips, contact Emergency Medical Services.
Fever With Rash
Causes include anaphylactoid purpura (purple blotches on elbows, ankles, and buttocks, sore throat two weeks before onset of rash). Measles (red spots, running nose, red eyes, dry cough), Rubella (red spots and pea-like bumps at back of head), Chicken Pox (red, itchy spots which develop into blisters and then crust over), Roseola infantum (pink rash, swollen neck glands), and occasionally drugs.
If temperature stays above 39º C (102º F) for longer than 6 hours, or if child goes into convulsions, contact Emergency Medical Services.
Specific remedies to be given every hour for up to 10 doses in acute situations
- Fever comes on suddenly and is worse around midnight, child pale-faced, restless, and thirsty Aconite 30c
- Child feels chilly and won’t drink despite fever, feels worse in hot rooms, complains of sharp, stinging pains, may also be delirious Apis 30c
- Fever worse between midnight and 2 am, child restless, anxious, exhausted, chilly, thirsty for small sips of water, complains of burning pains in limbs, head feels better for cold but limbs feel better for heat Arsenicum 30c
- Fever comes on suddenly and violently, child has hot, flushed skin, pounding pulse, staring eyes, and becomes delirious Belladonna 30c
- Child very thirsty at long intervals, irritable, wants to be left alone, feels worse for moving, especially if he or she has a headache, asks to be taken home although already at home Bryonia 30c
- Fever comes on gradually, child has red cheeks, a weak and rapid pulse, feels shivery despite frequent sweats, and has a throbbing headache, soothed by cool applications Ferrum phos. 30c
- Child feels shivery and ‘fluey, with aching muscles and heavy eyelids, not thirsty despite fever, headache made worse by movement Gelsemium 30c
- Child feels worse for changes in temperature, is very thirsty, salivates and sweats profusely, breath smells foul and sweat offensive, tongue lolls out Mercurius 30c
- Child looks well despite fever, behaves apathetically, seeks sympathy, craves cold drinks which are vomited up as soon as they become warm in stomach, may also have chest infection Phosphorus 30c
Self-help: Take child’s temperature every four hours, check for any pain which might suggest a chest, ear, or throat infection, and give plenty to drink and nothing to eat until fever subsides. If temperature is 39º C (102º F) or above and child is susceptible to Febrile Convulsions, undress child and give a 10-minute tepid sponge-down every two hours, or train a fan on the child’s body - both measures help the body cool down. Aspirin and Disprin should be avoided.