Note: This post was written by Tanisha DeBaca. Tanisha is a freelance writer and blogs at True Love All Over. Take it away, Tanisha!
I received a call from my kids’ school. My little one had a fever of 103 degrees! They wanted to know if they can give her something to bring it down until I arrived. I declined. A little surprised, the school employee asked, “Are you sure?!”
Yes I Am And Here’s Why!
A fever is part of the body’s natural defense against foreign invaders. The body attempts to make itself unfriendly to these invaders by heating up enough to kill them. By getting rid of the fever, we allow these invaders free access to our kids’ bodies and whatever illness they cause. Fevers will typically last three days or less, however, by blocking the fever, your child could be down a week or longer.
When I was a child and came home with a fever and chills, my mother piled blankets on me and tucked hot water bottles in the blanket layers to keep me warm. She gave me plenty of fluids and checked me often to make sure I wasn’t uncomfortable while waiting for my fever to break. Was she trying to harm me? Or did she know something that is now forgotten?
What Should I Do If I Let The Fever Stay?
I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I am a mother of two girls. And in my experience (that I have not confirmed with my doctor nor researched) fevers tend to stay below 103 degrees if they are viral and will move beyond 103 degrees if they are bacterial. Also, viral infections usually don’t last more than 2-3 days but bacterial infections may last longer, up to a week or possibly more.
It’s important to support the body’s own healing efforts during this time. Plenty of fluids is a must. I like to give my kids frequent doses of echinacea, elderberry syrup, vitamin C, and horsetail (especially if I suspect a bacterial infection). Rest is another must as is eliminating all candy and junk food.
The first 24 hours of a fever (or any infection) is crucial and I watch my kids like a hawk; even going so far as to sleep with them during the night. (I’m crazy like this and am not recommending you do this, it’s just what I do.) I make sure that their temperature isn’t getting worse, they’re drinking enough fluids and resting, and watch for changes in their behavior. If any of these things goes bad, then I’m quick to take them to the doctor.
How Long Should I Let A Fever Continue?
If it’s been more than 3 days or if the fever is above 103 at any time, seek medical advice from a professional immediately.
I’m not against doctors or medical intervention. However, I think we have developed a knee-jerk reaction to calling the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle. When we take a deep breath and understand that no one knows our kids better than we do, then it’s easier for us to see that maybe all our kids really need is some good old fashioned TLC: Time (for rest), Liquids, and Chicken soup!
I pray for the health and well-being of your family!
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