and our families through a fever can be an anxious time for many of us. The first thing most people do is reach
for some pills (antipyretics) such as paracetamol, asparin, tylenol or ibuprofin thinking that they
may prevent febrile convulsions following a high temperature. This now is widely recognized however
as a harmful misconception. Trying
to bring down a temperature artificially is not necessarily a safe option as
there are associations between antipyretic use and risk
of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, eczema and autism (for more on this see below).
Instead, most fevers and childhood diseases can and should be left alone and should be seen as a healing process in themselves. Suppressing fevers, on the other hand, can have long term consequences for our health, leading to more serious diseases. Some therapies such as Iscador (available on the NHS), are used to induce fevers in order to aid healing, and other therapies use specially selected bacteria to induce fevers to fight cancer. In the past, before anti-biotics were introduced, steam boxes were used successfully to treat syphilis and other complaints. Also,
animals are known to seek out warmer spots to give themselves fevers when they are ill. So we are not alone in that all animals use fevers to
strengthen their immune systems.
Little more than bedrest and drinking water is all that is almost always needed. If your child has a fever and they are still breastfeeding, providing breast milk is the best way to literally nurse them through, as it not only provides all the liquids they need, but will also provide anti-bodies to help them fight off whatever it is that is causing the fevers. At the same time, it contains natural pain killers, relaxants and helps them to sleep.
I don't even necessarily recommend homeopathy for fevers, but it can be helpful if other symptoms are also present. If you want to know more about Homeopathy for Childhood Illnesses please see this article by Miranda Castro. Here's an extract from it:
"A fever is a helpful and necessary part of the process of healing in a childhood illness, in any illness for that matter. During a fever the healing reactions of the body are speeded up; the heart beats faster, carrying the blood more quickly to all the organs; respiration is quicker, increasing oxygen intake: and perspiration increases, helping the body to cool down naturally. A high temperature generally indicates that the body's defense mechanism is fighting an infection and temperature variations indicate how it is coping. Attempts to suppress or control a fever artificially with [antipyretics such as] Tylenol, or even with homeopathic remedies, are likely to confuse the body’s natural efforts to heal itself. A fever is often the first symptom that your child is ill. It is best to wait for other symptoms to develop before giving a homeopathic remedy".
One of the things people worry about most is that a fever will lead to brain damage. But according to Dr Ben Kim this is largely unfounded:
"A fever cannot cause brain damage unless it reaches 107.6 degrees Farenheit (42 degrees Celsius) and stays there for an extended period of time. Since your brain has a built-in thermostat that does not allow your core temperature to rise above 106 degrees Farenheit (41.1 C) during an infectious process, it is virtually impossible to experience brain damage from a fever caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The majority of fevers don't even reach 105 (40.5 C) degrees. The highest temperature that I have encountered thus far has been 104.5 degrees Farenheit (40 C) in a 6 year old boy who had suffered a heatstroke".
"A small percentage of children can sometimes experience short-lived
seizures when they have a fever, called a febrile seizure. These
seizures are caused by a rapid increase in body temperature, not by a
specific temperature. There's no need to worry if your child experiences
a febrile seizure, as they end quickly and do not leave after effects".
So, you may ask, how high can fevers be before any intervention other than rest and drinking
water is needed?
In a nutshell, here's what you need to know about fevers:
Signs to watch for which may need medical advice:
The NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) 'Guidelines on Management of feverish illness in children younger than 5 years' stated:
1. do not routinely use antipyretic agents with the sole aim of reducing fever in children who are otherwise well
2. do not routinely administer paracetamol and ibuprofen either in combination or alternately
3. antipyretic agents do not prevent febrile convulsions and should not be used specifically for this purpose.
Fever Charts from Stanford Children’s Hospital in California show that most fevers are good for children and help the body fight infection and that a fever must be very high before causing damage. They suggest using the following definitions to help put your child's level of fever into perspective:
Official guidelines for Dutch family doctors in case of fever in children:
Quotes from Medical Literature:
fevers need to be treated but many physicians do so to relieve parental
"Antipyretics prolong illness in patients with Influenza A.... The duration of illness was significantly prolonged from 5 days (without) to 8 1/2 days (with)" (Pharmacotherapy 2000, 20: 417-422).
Disease: "use of analgesics were associated with disease.....we cannot
exclude the possibility that acetaminophen use itself is a risk factor for
“Fever is an important indicator of disease and should not be routinely suppressed by antipyretics. Fever may actually benefit the host defense mechanism. Fever is short-lived and causes only minor discomfort. Routine antipyretic therapy should be avoided but may be necessary in individual patients with cardiovascular or neurologic disorders" (Infect Dis Clin North Am 1996 Mar; 10 (1) 211-216).
"The data suggests
that frequent administration of antipyretics to children with infectious
disease may lead to a worsening of their illness" (Acta Paed. Jpn 1994
Aug; 36 (4) 375-378).
Dangers of antipyretics:Association between paracetamol use in infancy and childhood, and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children aged 6—7 years
"Use of paracetamol in the first year of life and in later childhood, is associated with risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema at age 6 to 7 years. We suggest that exposure to paracetamol might be a risk factor for the development of asthma in childhood" (The Lancet, 20 September 2008).
"Late in 2008 a paper published in the respected medical journal The Lancet challenged many parent's perceptions of the harmlessness of Calpol. Researchers who analysed data on more than 200,000 children found strong links between their exposure to paracetamol as infants and the development of asthma, eczema and other allergies at age 6-7.
Calpol of course
doesn't just contain paracetamol.
It is a cocktail of sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives and
colourants to make the product appealing and palatable to infants. These
additives include strawberry 'flavouring' and carmoisine (E122- suspected
carcinogen, banned in Austria, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US) to produce its
It also contains Maltitol (a mild laxative), glycerol (E422 - large quantities can cause headaches, thirst and nausea), sorbitol (E420 - large quantities can cause stomach upset), the paraben preservatives that are all suspected hormone disrupters and allergens: methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), ethyl parahydroxybenzoate (E214 - banned in France and Australia); and a thickener xanthan gum (E415 - no known adverse effects).
Massive recall by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, of its infants' and children's line of Tylenol products. An FDA inspection report found these drugs to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria (they did not disclose the actual type) as well as "foreign materials" that were visible as "dark or black specks". But a recent story published by USA Today has revealed that McNeil actually knew about the bacterial contamination and kept shipping the products anyway.
"The present study
was performed to determine whether acetaminophen (paracetamol) use after the
measles-mumps-rubella vaccination could be associated with autistic disorder...
This preliminary study found that
acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was associated with
is a very profound article by a renowned homeopathic physician with
many decades of experience. He warns that acute inflammatory diseases,
including fevers, especially in childhood, must be treated very
carefully and thoughtfully, as their treatment will have an impact on
future health and wellbeing.
"Health and medical journalists are not presently providing the public with what might be the most important health advice that they should be given during the flu season: people with the flu should avoid taking fever-reducing drugs, such as aspirin or acetaminophen (aka TylenolTM), except in rare situations.
It is widely recognized that fever is a vital defense of the body in its efforts to fight infection. A fever enables the body to increase its production of interferon, an important antiviral substance that is critical for fighting infection. Fever also increases white blood cell mobility and activity, which are instrumental factors in fighting infection. Jane Brody, a long-time respected health columnist for the New York Times, reported back in 1982 on the healing benefits of fever. She noted, a number of physicians, including pediatricians, are now suggesting that moderate fevers be allowed to run their course, for they may shorten the illness, potentiate the action of antibiotics and reduce the chances of spreading the infection to others. 
fever is beneficial has been known for more than 2,000 years, and historically,
the healing benefits of fever are so substantial that many patients have
actually been treated with ''fever therapy'' to aid their recovery from such
ailments as cancer, syphilis, tuberculosis and even mania.  However, in
the 1800's, aspirin compounds that rapidly reduced fevers became commercially
available, and the medical view of fever changed dramatically. Since the
mid-1800s, drug companies have successfully convinced conventional physicians
and the general public to become vigilant in bringing down fevers, even
sometimes using such drastic measures as cold baths and alcohol rubs along with
Fever: friend or foe? by Robert Matthews and Clare Wilson, New Scientist, 5 August 2010
"The standard advice for people with flu, for example, is to dose up with paracetamol. Parents of young children, who are especially prone to fevers, are well aware of the perils of inaction: febrile convulsions. But now there's growing concern that these time-honoured approaches are at best misguided and at worst potentially life-threatening. New findings are starting to support a much older view of fever: that it is a key part of the body's disease-fighting strategy. The evidence is coming in from many sources, including insights into how the immune system battles infection, research into how bacteria respond to temperature and studies of critically ill patients. At the same time, the idea that antipyretics can prevent fits in children is looking increasingly shaky. It's not often that decades of clinical practice is overturned, but it looks like the game may be finally up for one of medicine's most basic precepts."
"The Benefits of Fever
Fever – Perhaps the Most Overtreated Symptom of All By Dr. Mercola October 26 2010
"A great number of people have completely misunderstood fever, and believe that fever can be dangerous in and of itself – especially when the fever occurs in a child. It's important to realize that fever is your body's backup defense mechanism when your primary ones – mainly your immune system -- fail. Your first line of defense is your macrophages, which gobble up any invading microbes. As long as your immune system is strong, you may not even realize you've been exposed to a troublesome bug. If you are still under the impression that having a fever or 100 or 101 degrees Fahrenheit is an indication of a dangerous situation, relax! It's not! Many infectious agents do not survive in elevated temperatures so your body increases the temperature in an effort to eradicate the infection. It is a healthy response"...
General Guidance If Your Child is Sick, by Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD
Dr. Palevsky often remarks that “children need to be allowed to experience symptoms of acute illness in order for their bodies to appropriately cleanse the wastes and toxins from their systems, and so they can go forward in their lives toward greater optimal health and wellness.” Rarely does Dr. Palevsky ever need to prescribe antibiotics for children in his practice. On average, he writes one antibiotic prescription per year. This is because he has come to understand that most illnesses in children are not caused by infections, and therefore, don’t require antibiotic treatment. Dr. Palevsky recommends that parents read this section of his website in great detail so that they can better understand and address any perceived challenges to their children’s health.
Arnica UK Parents Support Network, promoting natural immunity:
For a comprehensive list of articles on fever and the dangers of antipyretics as well as much more on vaccination: http://www.wellwithin1.com/fever.htm