Even when you do all the right things, you or a family member may still come down with an illness. It's part of living in our world.
However, when someone does develop a fever as a result of an illness, it's important to keep tabs on that fever.
Up until about 2 years ago, if our children said their ear was hurting I was immediately on the phone with the pediatrician scheduling an appointment for them. Most of the time it turned out they did have an ear infection and then they were on antibiotics. I have since changed my approach dramatically (as in, we don't go to the doctor for ear infections any more and I treat them at home.)
I also used to give them Tylenol or Ibuprofen at the first hint of a fever and I dutifully rotated Tylenol and Ibuprofen as they dealt with that fever.
However, this is an area in which I have also completely changed my approach.
I have since learned that fevers are actually a good thing when fighting illness.
Sometimes a fever will come on suddenly and that's the body's way of killing off the germs. The body knows that if it can make the environment hostile to germs it will kill and defeat the virus. However, if we are constantly reducing the body's ability to do this we are prolonging the agony of being sick and we are not letting the body naturally strengthen it's immune system.
Now if a child has a fever, rather than immediately giving them Tylenol or Ibuprofen I let their body fight it off. I have noticed two things as a result of doing this. First, they don't seem to get as many fevers as they used to and second, if they do get one, the fever doesn't seem to last as long as they did when I treated them with fever reducers.
During the day while our child is dealing with a fever I am very attentive to them. I encourage them to rest and I try to get them to drink as much water as possible. I put cool washcloths on their head, give popsicles and if it happens to be an infant, I nurse them as much as I can. (Also, keep in mind that fevers will typically go higher in the late afternoon and evening. Just keep loving on your little pumpkin and meeting their needs.)
Now, I do use a fever reducer at bedtime because it allows the sick child to sleep more comfortably and it allows me to get the rest that I need as well. (More on using Essential Oils as natural fever reducers in the Modern Wellness seminar this Thursday at 7:30 pm EST. Sign up here.) By giving the child a fever reducer at bedtime it helps me to not be worried that they're laying in bed with a raging fever and not know about it and it also allows the child to sleep more comfortably. I also let them sleep on the floor next to my bed at night so I can be right there if they need me.
Personally, I still like to know what my child's temperature is and not just rely on whether or not they feel "hot" to me. With two of our children they don't typically get fevers much past 103, but with our daughter it has not been unusual for it to climb to 105. I like having a reliable thermometer on hand so I know what I'm dealing with.
We happened to be on vacation this past summer when our last round of fevers went through the kids and of course, our thermometer broke. I started searching online for a safe, reliable thermometer and after reading several reviews decided that the Exergen TemporalScanner was the one I wanted to try.
Each thermometer is tested six times for accuracy during manufacture at Exergen's plant and comes with a one year warranty. It has been shown to be accurate to within +0.2 degrees F. This is more accurate than oral, rectal (sorry, never could do that one!), under the arm, or in the ear. Additionally, this gives you the absolute latest temperature update for your child because when a temperature is changing rapidly there could be a lag time of up to 60-90 minutes on a rectal or oral reading.
This thermometer also is great if you need to check a sleeping child's temperature because it is non-invasive.
I have found this thermometer to read slightly higher than our tympanic model and that's because it is measuring the core body temperature. I don't know about you, but I could never remember how much I was supposed to add if I ever took a temperature under the tongue or under the arm. With this thermometer I know I am getting an accurate read as is. I would suggest using your thermometer a few times on healthy children to get used to it and to find out what their normal body temperature is since it can vary slightly.
This thermometer uses an infrared sensor to detect your child's temperature so there is no concern for mercury. It also does not need any plastic probes for each use.
I think this is a fantastic thermometer and I'm glad to have one in our home!
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