Posts tagged ‘fever’

March 11, 2011

Alternative approaches to pediatric fevers

In January, the New York Times posted a review on OTC pediatric medicines entitled Lifting a Veil of Fear to See the Benefits of Child Fever – specifically discussing medications directed toward pediatric fever.  The conclusion of the study – most liquid OTC pediatric medicines are not closely regulated to have accurate dosage… meaning, the recommended doses and the markings on the medicine droppers are often not properly calibrated.  In addition, there is further discussion regarding the benefits and risks of childhood fever.

Fevers are an indication that the immune system is healthily at work and there are some fevers that are productive and beneficial.  It is important – especially in the pediatric population – to contact your primary healthcare provider for supervision of a fever.  But often, it will behoove the body to support a fever and utilize it rather than to suppress.

One popular naturopathic approach to supporting the body’s natural defenses when fighting a cold or the flu (often characterized by fever) is to employ a “warming sock treatment” outlined below:

Supplies

1 pair white cotton socks

1 pair thick wool socks

Towel

Warm bath or warm foot bath

Directions

1.     Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.

2.     Warm your feet first.  This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first.  Soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath for 5-10 minutes can accomplish warming.

3.     Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.

4.     Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick wool socks.  Go directly to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.

5.     Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

Effects of the warming sock treatment:

This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.

This is never a replacement for consultation from a professional healthcare provider, but next time you are inclined to reach for an OTC med when your child has a fever, contact your local naturopath and see if the warming sock treatment might be a beneficial option or perhaps the use of herbal medicine or homeopathic medicine to address your child’s health from a holistic approach.

Best,

Dr. R