Fever Phobia? Do you have it? 

 March 6, 2011

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

In chiropractic we are always slow to interfere with our bodies natural processes to fight disease.  Fever is a common symptom when our bodies are fighting an infection.  It is also a very potent way the body has to fight infection.  However, it is safe to say we have all been taught to pay close attention to the presence or absence of a fever in a sick person.  Especially our children!  I am sensitive to this as a father who wants my children to be comfortable and I want to protect them from the risks that come from illness.

My resolve is always tested if my son or daughter gets a fever.  Especially if they look uncomfortable or unable to sleep well.  Do we give medication?  Is the fever too high?  How high is too high?  Hhmmm, maybe I have “fever phobia.”  Well the journal, Pediatrics, published an article that weighs in on the subject.

Some interesting points:

– there is no evidence that lowering a fever will help a child get well faster, or that leaving a fever untreated could cause seizures, brain damage or death, as some caregivers fear.

– fever is a way of heating the body up to make the enzymes inside work faster and the immune system stronger.

– don’t wake your child to give fever-reducing medications.

Of course in the end it isn’t going to say never to use the drugs that reduce fever.  But it all but removes any good reasons from a health standpoint.  Admittedly, we want our children to be comfortable, and the authors allow for that fact.  In doing so they make a strong point to closely monitor dosage and prevent accidental over-dose due to a child getting into unsecured bottles of drugs.

Clinical Report–Fever and Antipyretic Use in Children — Sullivan et al., 10.1542/peds.2010-3852 — Pediatrics.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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