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Why do we get a Fever?
A fever (a body temperature reading of above 37.3C/99F) is raised by the immune system in an attempt to gain advantage over viruses and bacteria. A fever is caused by pyrogens in the bloodstream which your body stimulates for just this purpose, using heat to overcome the invader. Contrary to popular opinion, a fever or a raised temperature can be a good thing.
There is also a growing body of evidence that riding a fever, rather than suppressing it with paracetamol, Calpol, Nurofen or antibiotics, may have lifelong protective effects against some chronic diseases. Read more here.
Are Fevers Dangerous for children?
The NHS advise “Children's paracetamol or ibuprofen work as antipyretics, which help to reduce fever, as well as being painkillers. If your child isn't distressed by the fever or underlying illness, there's no need to use antipyretics to reduce a fever.” and "There's no need to undress your child or sponge them down with tepid water. Research shows that neither actually help reduce fever. Avoid bundling them up in too many clothes or bedclothes."
However, there are times when you should think about contacting your doctor when your child:
* is under three months old and has a temperature of 38C (101F) or above * is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39C (102F) or above
* has other signs of being unwell, such as persistent vomiting, refusal to feed, floppiness or drowsiness.
Fore more NHS advice on fevers: [http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx].
For the NICE green-amber-red symptom list guide to assess risk of serious illness: [https: //www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg160/resources/support-for-education-and-learning-educational-resource-traffic-light-table-189985789sk of serious illness]
Can I use Homeopathy for a Fever?
I certainly use it at home and I can say, hand on heart, that it's worked every time, with no need for the kids to ever take Calpol or for us to make any middle of the night calls to the doctor. I would always advise, however, that you use NHS or similar information services online or elsewhere to check that the symptoms you are trying to help don't require immediate emergency supervision at hospital.
First Aid Homeopathy means that you will need an homeopathic remedy kit as part of your home medicine cabinet such as the Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy 'Basic 36' and 'Emergency' kits. If you don't yet have a kit, you can call Helios and they will advise over the phone and send the right remedies out the next day. You may also find the remedy you are looking for at your local Holland & Barrett or health food store.
Which Remedies should I use?
Here is a guide to the most widely used fever remedies. Choose the remedy where the symptoms listed fit best to your symptoms. You may not see all the symptoms of a remedy; but one or two will stand out.
Anxious * Restless * Sudden onset after getting cold/a shock * Chills followed by sudden high fever * One cheek red the other pale * Ears can be red and hot * Warm hands and feet during fever * Little perspiration * Very thirsty for cold water *
Alternating between thirsty chill and thirstless fever * Chill worse for being moved * Burning heat over whole body * Wants the room cold * Complains of sharp, stinging pains *
Tends to feel worse between midnight and 2am * Feeling chilled inside, with shivering * Wants to wrap up warm but keep the head cool * Feels exhausted * Fever feels burning & complains of burning pains in limbs * Thirsty for small sips of water * Better for warm drinks *
* Sudden onset * High, dry fever * Flushed face * Glassy eyes with large pupils * Hot body with cold hands & feet * Worse for jarring, light, noise, movement especially headache * May grind teeth & talk in sleep * Desires lemons * Thirstless in fever * Remitting fever eg. better during morning but then worse again 3pm to 3am *
Unquenchable thirst at long internvals * Worse for even slight movement especially headache * Head hot while body cold * Irritable & wants to be left alone * Often indicated in chest infections *
One cheek red the other pale * May come after anger or during teething * Patient is irritable, moaning or crying and can't be pleased * Worse 9-11 am & pm * Children in a Chamomilla state like to be carried *
At the start of a fever * Fever comes on gradually * Flushed cheeks * Shivers despite frequent sweats * Throbbing headache better for a cold compress *
Feels shivery and fluey * Cotton wool feeling in head * Aching muscles * Heavy eyelids * Thirstless in fever * Headache worse for movement * May have lose stools or diarrhoea *
Pale face * Lowish fever with intense delirium * Throws the bed covers off * Staring eyes and mind dull * Muscles twitching and patient picking at bed clothes or lying still * Staring eyes * May have involuntary stool and urine * Useful in Typhoid and Scarlet fever *
Much pungent offensive sweating * Very thirsty * Chills tend to get worse in the evening * Feels sensitive to changes in room temperature * Increased saliva * Smelly breath, & the tongue may show imprint of teeth *
Burning heat * Feel internally hot * Craves sympathy * Unquenchable thirst for cold drinks which may be vomited once warm in stomach * Hunger increased during fever * Feeling weak * Dry or sweaty * Cough during the fever * Often indicated in chest infections *
No thirst * Burning heat worse at night * Patient feels hot and kicks off the duvet then wants covers back on again * Patient is clingy, weepy & wants sympathy * Changeable mood and symptoms * Useful at the start of eruptive fevers such as Chicken pox *
Suspected Meningitis (look for stiff neck and/or rash that does not fade on rolling a glass over it) (Contact Emergency Services) * Sweat smells putrid * Fevers from septic infections *
Very restless * Worst during night * Can't get comfortable in bed * After being out in the cold and rain * Aching limbs/joints * Gets temporary relief from moving about particularly at night * Unusual desire for cold milk *
Intense violent dry constant fever with red cheeks (that looks like a Belladonna fever but Belladonna fails to work) * Restless and throwing themselves about the bed, possibly with jerks of the head * Night terrors or hallucinations with fear of the dark * Worse for being alone/in the dark, or looking at bright/shining objects * May have profuse perspiration that does not relieve the patient * Better for company, warmth, the lights on at night * Very thirsty * Useful in eruptive fevers like measles and scarlet fever *
What's the correct dose?
You should take one dose (one pill) in the 200c potency if you have it to hand, and then wait (unless you are a sensitive patient - ie. tendency to allergies - in which case use 30c only). Repeat after 20 minutes if necessary. If you only have 30c potency then you can give more ie. three or four times, 20 minutes apart each time. If the patient does not feel any relief, try the next remedy on the list that appears to fit best to the patient's symptoms.
PS. Put the remedy under the tongue and let it dissolve in the mouth. If possible avoid eating and drinking for 10 minutes before and after taking the remedy, as well as touching it with your hands - try tipping it into your mouth from the bottle lid, or with a clean spoon.
A Note on Febrile Convulsions
Small children can quite frequently have a febrile convulsion or fit during their fever. These are normally harmless and nearly all children will recover completely. However, if you are concerned please explore the NHS advice and take appropriate action.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.