If you’re like many parents, the first time your infant has a fever it’s a cause for concern. That’s because many of us have been brought up to see fever as a sign of sickness when really it’s a sign that you are well!
Yes, it’s true. A fever is a sign that your body is working the way it was designed. Your body has the innate wisdom to raise its temperature in response to a foreign body – a virus or bacteria – that needs to be destroyed.
Many medical practitioners advise you to give some type of child-strength fever reducer to your child to make him or her more “comfortable” and to bring the fever down. We have a different perspective. We believe that childhood fevers, and the viruses and infections that cause them, play a valuable role in strengthening your child’s immune system, making it stronger to resist future infections.
Moreover, when you give fever-reducing medications to a child, you’re overriding the intelligence of the body. This may actually prolong the length of the illness! Additionally, your child’s immune system may miss the opportunity to become resistant to the virus or bacteria that caused the infection in the first place!
So, when your child gets a fever, remember that fever is the body’s innate immune response. Instead of seeing it as something to be feared or eliminated, view it as a welcome response that signals that your child’s immune system is functioning properly and getting stronger. Understand too that giving your child acetaminophen, paracetamol or ibuprofen can defeat the intended purpose of the fever. Relax, knowing that a fever is dangerous only in rare instances. When excessive or long in duration, it may indicate a more serious problem. If in doubt, or if your child is under 12 months of age, consult a medical practitioner.