Fevers in Kids- Myths & Facts


Myth: All fevers are bad for kids

Fact: Fevers are an important part of a healthy immune system response to infections. Fevers are mostly safe in children, as long as they remain well-hydrated and the fever remains in a therapeutic zone ( ideally, below 40C)


Myth: My child feels hot to touch, so they must have a fever.

Fact: Taking your child’s temperature with a thermometer is the only reliable way to determine if they have a fever. A fever is generally considered to be an oral temperature above 38.0C in children. Of course, as the caregiver, you can look for other signs that your child is ill, but they might not have a fever.


Myth: Fevers ALWAYS have to be treated with Children’s Tylenol or other

medications.

Fact: Medication, though, can be helpful with high fevers (over 40C), rapidly rising

fevers and when kids have a history of febrile seizures. Fevers of any temperature in

infants aged less than 6 months have to be investigated with urgent medical care.


Myth: Kids need to eat even if they have a fever.

Fact: It’s perfectly okay if your child doesn’t eat anything while they have a fever.

.Just make sure that they are drinking throughout. Dehydration is a common cause

of problems with fevers.


Myth: All fevers are bad for kids

Fact: Fevers are an important part of a healthy immune system response to

infections. Fevers are mostly safe in children, as long as they remain well-hydrated.

and the fever remains in a therapeutic zone ( ideally, below 40C)


Myth: My child feels hot to touch, so they must have a fever.

Fact: Taking your child’s temperature with a thermometer is the only reliable way

to determine if they have a fever. A fever is generally considered to be an oral

temperature above 38.0C in children. Of course, as the caregiver, you can look for

other signs that your child is ill, but they might not have a fever.


Myth: Fevers ALWAYS have to be treated with Children’s Tylenol or other

medications.

Fact: Medication, though, can be helpful with high fevers (>40C), rapidly rising

fevers and when kids have a history of febrile seizures. Fevers of any temperature in

infants aged less than 6 months have to be investigated with urgent medical care.


Myth: Kids need to eat even if they have a fever.

Fact: It’s perfectly okay if your child doesn’t eat anything while they have a fever.

.Just make sure that they are drinking throughout. Dehydration is a common cause

of problems with fevers.


Myth: There’s nothing other than Children’s Tylenol or fever medication to reduce a

fever.

Fact: There are several natural options to manage a healthy fever. For instance, a

sponge bath with warm (not steaming hot) water is an effective way to manage a

fever. Herbal teas like ginger, yarrow and peppermint are useful allies in managing

fevers. Of course, treating the underlying infection is equally important. These are examples for educational purposes, please consult your naturopathic doctor for a specific recommendation for your child.


Myth: Fevers will always rise if not treated

Fact: The body has feedback loops to determine the right body temperature for the

situation (except for infants, that’s why you always consult a doctor right away in

these cases). Most fevers don’t go above 40C, and if they do for an hour or so, they

tend to be safe


Myth: Febrile seizures are common, cause permanent brain damage and lead to

epilepsy.

Fact: Febrile seizures happen in approximately 4% of children have a seizure with

fevers. These seizures are extremely scary to witness, but they do not typically cause any

brain damage or lead to chronic conditions like epilepsy. Once a child has a febrile

seizure, though, they are more susceptible to future ones with fevers.


Myth: How high the numbers get is the most important consideration with a fever

Fact: While you do want to monitor how high a fever gets, it is almost more

important to check on how your child is acting; are they unusually lethargic/cannot

be roused from sleep; are they struggling for breath; are they crying with loud, high-

pitch. In these latter cases, take your child to urgent care.


Myth: Once a fever ‘breaks’, it should not return.

Fact: With most infections, fevers happen over a period of 3-4 days. Your chosen

treatment may suppress the fever, but the underlying infection may cause it to

return. Don’t despair if the fever comes back, just keep treating it. If a fever lasts

longer than 5 days or so, it is advisable to see a health care provider to determine

the reason (infection) for the persistent fever. There’s nothing other than Children’s

Tylenol or fever medication to reduce a fever.


Myth: Fevers will always rise if not treated

Fact: The body has feedback loops to determine the right body temperature for the

situation (except for infants, that’s why you always consult a doctor right away in

these cases). Most fevers don’t go above 40C, and if they do for an hour or so, they

tend to be safe


Myth: Febrile seizures are common, cause permanent brain damage and lead to

epilepsy.

Fact: Febrile seizures happen in approximately 4% of children have a seizure with

fevers. These seizures are extremely scary to witness, but do not typically cause any

brain damage or lead to chronic conditions like epilepsy. Once a child has a febrile

seizure, though, they are more susceptible to future ones with fevers.


Myth: How high the numbers get is the most important consideration with a fever

Fact: While you do want to monitor how high a fever gets, it is almost more

important to check on how your child is acting; are they unusually lethargic/cannot

be roused from sleep; are they struggling for breath; are they crying with loud, high-

pitch. In these latter cases, take your child to urgent care.


Myth: Once a fever ‘breaks’, it should not return.

Fact: With most infections, fevers happen over a period of 3-4 days. Your chosen

treatment may suppress the fever, but the underlying infection may cause it to

return. Don’t despair if the fever comes back, just keep treating it. If a fever lasts

longer than 5 days or so, it is advisable to see a health care provider to determine

the reason (infection) for the persistent fever.


Written by : Dr. Caroline Meyer ND