By Dr. Joey Shulman, D.C., RNCP
Starve a fever, feed a cold? Parents are often confused about how they should deal with their child’s fever. Instead of going into panic mode, it is best to understand what a fever is to determine if it is an emergency situation or not.
Although fevers often make parents nervous and uncomfortable, they should not be perceived as the enemy. In fact, most fevers are a blessing in disguise. A fever is one of the body’s many adaptive functions to deal with foreign substances or environments such as an infection. Viruses and bacteria live at body temperature. When your internal thermostat rises and creates a fever, white blood cells are activated and your body heats up to kill off potentially threatening bugs. In fact, research shows that medicating a child with an anti-fever drug for a low to moderate fever may interfere with this natural defense. In addition to viruses and infections, such as ear and bronchial infections, fevers can also be due to over bundling a child or excessive crying.
How to Take Your Child’s Temperature
Normal body temperature in a child can vary. The average normal temperature values are:
36 to 37.5
97 to 99
35 to 37
96.5 to 98.5