7 Ways To Treat A Fever Naturally

Heather Dessinger

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I like math just about as much as the next mom. Counting baby toes, pennies and the number of times my son says “sooopooon” (spoon) in a day – all good stuff! But when it comes to my kids health, math rarely factors in. Why? Because I watch them, not the numbers. This is especially true with fevers.

I’m not alone, either. According to Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson – pediatrician at Loyola University Health System and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine – numbers may not be as significant as we tend to think.

“My most frequent calls are from worried parents who want to know how high is too high of a fever. What many parents don’t realize is that often, fevers are their child’s friend.

…Fevers can actually help your child recover more quickly, especially if he or she is battling a viral illness . . . I often wish thermometers had a gauge that read either ‘fever’ or ‘no fever.’ That would definitely help parents who worry if their child has a fever that’s too high.”

Loyola Medicine: That Fever Might Be Your Child’s Friend

Here’s a video from another pediatrician, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, which explains more:*

“Seattle Mama Doc” On Fever Phobia

And then there’s Dr. Janice Sullivan, a professor of pediatric clinical care and clinical pharmacology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, who told The Washington Post that “Fever is the body’s normal response to infection — it’s a natural defense mechanism.” She explains that a high temperature triggers the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells, which inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria, and that “If you lower the fever, you may be affecting the body’s ability to respond to that infection.”

Can I just say that I LOVE these women?? Personally I’d avoid the use of fever reducers if possible – here is one of the many reasons why – but I am still **this** close to sending them a dozen orchids. Regarding when fevers may need the attention of a pediatrician, here’s what Dr. Swanson has to say:

“The main take home is not to treat fever per se, but your child. There is no reason to make a fever disappear if your child is otherwise acting well, playful, and staying hydrated. But do know there are some fevers that do require a visit with the pediatricians. It’s important to seek care when fever persists after 3 days in infants and children, any fever in a baby 3 month old or less, and if fever is over 104 degrees.”

And here’s what Dr. Chow-Johnson has to say: ^

  • “Fevers are safe. A fever is the body’s way of controlling its immune response. Your child’s body is controlling the temperature and it’s going to fluctuate no matter what you do. Don’t awaken a child from a deep sleep to give medications for the fever. Sleep is more important.
  • Take oral temperatures when possible and rectal ones when not. Ear, sticker, pacifier and temporal artery thermometers are not reliable. Stick to a good, old-fashioned digital thermometer for the best accuracy. As far as how frequently a fever needs to be checked, once a day is sufficient.
  • There is not a maximum number on the thermometer that means go to the emergency room, unless your child stops drinking, urinating or responding well. But if children are doing all three, parents can monitor them from home.
  • Your goal should be your child’s comfort, not reducing the fever. Be generous with fluids, ice chips and popsicles. Dress children in light clothing and give tepid baths to help cool them down. Don’t use rubbing alcohol as this can be absorbed into the skin. Give fever reducers only if your child feels uncomfortable, not solely to reduce the temperature. And don’t alternate fever-reducing medications, as this could lead to overdosing or excessive medication that your child doesn’t need.

However, experts also say that there are times you should seek medical attention for a fever ^

Here is the criteria outlined by Dr. Chow-Johsnon:

  • “A child who is less than 8 weeks old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher should be seen by a physician immediately
  • A child who is undergoing chemotherapy or has a compromised immune system
  • If there is no clear source for the child’s fever (no cough, runny nose or known pain) and the fever has lasted for 2-3 days
  • If a fever lasts for more than 5 days, see a physician, even if your child looks well.”

Loyola Medicine: Let Fever Might Be Your Child’s Friend (emphasis mine)

Ahhh, I’m swooning! And the best part is she’s not alone: Another pediatrician, Dr. Natasha Burgert, says pretty much the exact same thing.

“There is no ‘number’ on a thermometer that requires a trip to the Emergency Department. Nope, not even 104F degrees. With very specific exceptions, kids do not have to maintain a “normal” temperature during times of illness.” (Fever: 5 Facts You Should Know)

American Academy Of Pediatrics Issues New Advice On Fevers ^

From the TODAY Show:

Parents have been told for generations that a high fever can be dangerous to kids. If you don’t get your child’s fever down, you’ll run the risk of frying brain cells, doctors have warned.

But now the American Academy of Pediatricians has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. A new report published this month in Pediatrics states that not only is there no need to bring down a fever in an otherwise healthy child, but there is a downside to treating a fever – it can prolong the illness that originally sparked the high temperatures.

Here’s an excerpt from Journal of Pediatrics report:

It should be emphasized that fever is not an illness but is, in fact, a physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects in fighting infection.8,,10 Fever retards the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses, enhances neutrophil production and T-lymphocyte proliferation, and aids in the body’s acute-phase reaction.11,,14 The degree of fever does not always correlate with the severity of illness. Most fevers are of short duration, are benign, and may actually protect the host.15 Data show beneficial effects on certain components of the immune system in fever, and limited data have revealed that fever actually helps the body recover more quickly from viral infections, although the fever may result in discomfort in children.11,16,,18

The report also found that “There is no evidence that children with fever, as opposed to hyperthermia, are at increased risk of adverse outcomes such as brain damage.7,9,21,,23” 

This reminds me of the American Academy of Pediatrics updated stance on ear infections. New data suggests that they’re often misdiagnosed, and the old method of treating earaches with antibiotics may have actually caused an increase in actual ear infections. (source) The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends a “wait and see” approach instead, acknowledging that most of the time it’s best to let small illnesses run their course. Here are some natural remedies many parents have found helpful for earaches. But I’m getting off topic here – back to fevers!

Natural Remedies For A Fever - According to a report published in the Journal Pediatrics, "fever is not an illness but is, in fact, a physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects in fighting infection. Fever retards the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses, enhances neutrophil production and T-lymphocyte proliferation, and aids in the body's acute-phase reaction." This post covers why fevers are usually beneficial, plus tips for supporting immune function and keeping kids comfortable.

What About Febrile Seizures? ^

One of the most common objections to letting a child ride out a fever seems to be concern that fevers cause febrile seizures. However, a report published in the Journal Pediatrics states that – despite concerns from doctors and nurses that an unmedicated fever might have an adverse effect – “antipyretic use does not prevent febrile seizures.”

Febrile seizures are associated with a rapid change in body temperature in either direction. (source) Many parents have reported that their child experienced a febrile seizure after receiving a fever reducing medication. This suggests that in some cases, fever reducers may bring the fever down too quickly and cause a febrile seizure. Also, there’s another way fever reducers may trigger febrile seizures. According to Amy Love, NTP, CGP, CILC, “fever reducers can CAUSE the febrile seizures because they suppress the body’s attempt to create a fever, and so it has to try harder, thus causing a higher fever (that rises faster), called a rebound fever.”

Are febrile seizures harmful? ^

According to the Royal Children’s Hospital In Melbourne, “Most children with fever suffer only minor discomfort [from a fever], however 1 in 30 will have a febrile convulsion at one time or another. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Febrile convulsions are not harmful to your child and do not cause brain damage. They are, however, quite upsetting to parents to witness.

Most children with febrile convulsions only ever have one fit. Some children will have one or more seizures, usually during illnesses which cause a fever. There is no increased risk of epilepsy in children who have febrile convulsions.”

So what are febrile seizures? ^

Though the mechanism is considered unknown, new research may offer clues. According to this study, febrile seizures may be related to the function of calcium channels within the body. We know that calcium channels are temperature sensitive, and some experts theorize that part of the function of a fever is to activate calcium channels, which in turn activates white blood cells that mount an immune response. One retrospective study speculates that some “simple febrile seizures” may in some cases actually be a “hypocalcaemic convulsions due to vitamin D deficiency” masquerading as a simple febrile seizure. In other words, if an individual is calcium deficient when a fever stimulates the calcium channels, it might cause some episodes categorized as simple febrile seizures. Another study found that iron deficiency/anemia is a risk factor for febrile seizures. Again, this is just speculation, but we’re going to revisit this idea in the home remedy section so I wanted to mention it.

How To Treat A Fever Naturally ^

So fevers aren’t scary and we should watch the child instead of the thermometer, but does that mean we can do nothing to help our children (or ourselves) be more comfortable? Of course not! Here are some home remedies that are thought to support immune function and increase comfort levels during a fever.

#1 ~ Calcium

According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, one of the main functions of a fever “is to pull ionizable calcium out of the bones and draw it into the blood where it is useful for fighting infections.” (source) The process may be part of what makes us feel achy, and some care providers suggest giving the body what it needs without requiring it to withdraw from “the bank.” Some expert believe that calcium  works with the fever to make it more effective, which may reduce illness duration. One small study of patients with dengue fever did find that supplementation with calcium and vitamin D (which assists with calcium absorption) reduced the duration and overall symptoms of the illness. Calcium is best obtained from food, but it can also be obtained through supplements. Calcium citrate malate and calcium orotate are though to be two of the most bioavailable forms. (Vitamin D may also be helpful for increasing absorption)


#2 – Bone Broth

It seems that Grandma was right after all – chicken soup is good for more than just the soul. Though some have thought that the comfort associated with chicken soup was a placebo effect, research published in CHEST: The Joural of the American College of Chest Physicians, suggests that “chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity.”

Several components of broth are thought to be beneficial, but the one that has been most studies is cartilage. In Nourishing Broth, Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Kaayla Daniel detail research which suggests that cartilage supports healthy immune function by “stimulating just about every time of white blood cell the body needs to mount a strong defense against unwanted microbes.” (page 95)

Of course, it’s also rich in bioavailable calcium, which as I just mentioned is likely to be beneficial as well.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s an easy tutorial on making bone broth in a slow cooker.

#3 – Gelatin

Another component of bone broth is gelatin, which may make skin look more youthful, support digestionimprove sleep, and support immune function. In Nourishing Broth, Morell and Dr. Daniel mention that research on the benefits of gelatin for immune function is limited and sometimes contradictory, but they suggest that this may be due to differences in the raw materials used to make the gelatin. Gelatin can be derived from several animals with different methods – some use just the hide, some use the hide and cartilage, and some “gelatin” studies actually used isolated compounds found within gelatin – glycine for example.

One study did find that gelatin “stimulates phagocytosis, the process by which a cell surrounds, engulfs, and eats microorganisms and cellular debris.” (page 96) However, that’s not the reason I included it here. Whether or not it benefits immune function directly, it’s a very soothing, easily digestible source of nourishment. If I didn’t have access to homemade bone broth, I’d dissolve this grass-fed gelatin in hot chamomile tea or this one in cold water.

#4 – Herbal Infusion

Certain herbs, such as elder flower and yarrow, are thought to benefit immune function. In this post Megan Visser, RN, show you how to make an herbal infusion that you can either drink or make into a smoothie pop. (The smoothie pop is #8 on this list.)

#5 – Apple Cider Vinegar

What happens if/when we feel it’s time to try to bring the fever down? Apple cider vinegar is an old remedy used by grandmothers and great-grandmothers that is thought to “draw out” the fever – people still swear by it! Soak a couple washcloths in diluted apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar and 2 parts water), then place them on the forehead and tummy, or add a cup to a warm bath. Some people also soak a cloth in and wrap it around the soles of the patient’s feet.

#6 ~ Warm Bath

A cold bath can shock the body into trying to raise the internal thermostat even more, but a warm to extra warm bath (depending on comfort level) may be helpful, especially when a cup of apple cider vinegar is mixed in.

#7 ~ Herbal Freezer Pops

These herbal freezer pops support immune function and help keep a child hydrated during a fever. Get the recipe.


Want more info? Treating Fevers Naturally is a very guide written by Meagan Visser, an R.N. with a holistic perspective on fevers. It includes a lot of great info and recipes for keeping kids comfortable during a fever.

So, There You Go! ^

I’m not against scales, statistics, thermometers and all those other things mama’s are supposed to be fond of. I totally use scales to make soap, statistics to analyze the likelihood that Daddypotamus will make up for the fact that he will be traveling on our anniversary (sources say YES!). And thermometers . . . oh how I love them to make marshmallows! And sometimes I use them on my kids, too. 🙂

If by chance that thermometer starts setting off alarm bells for me, you can bet my house will be stinking like a garlic omelette with vinegar on the side!

Have you ever used a natural remedy to reduce a fever? How did it work for you?

7 Natural Remedies For A Fever - According to a report from the Journal Pediatrics, "fever is not an illness but is, in fact, a physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects in fighting infection. Fever retards the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses, enhances neutrophil production and T-lymphocyte proliferation, and aids in the body's acute-phase reaction." Here's why fevers are usually beneficial, plus tips for supporting immune function and keeping kids comfortable.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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302 thoughts on “7 Ways To Treat A Fever Naturally”

  1. I’ve always used natural remedies before running off to the doctor. When my son and I ended up with the flu (while I was pregnant) we gave my then 2-year-old son a garlic oil massage. His fever broke the next morning and he was back to his normal self after three days of being sick. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to smell like garlic so I didn’t do the same thing and was sick for a week.

    The only time I ran to the doctor or a fever was when my daughter had a high temp for three days. The third night she couldn’t sleep, and the temp got up to 105 and she stopped responding to me. She was only 8 months old, and I decided enough was enough, we went to the ER. They gave her a fever-reducing suppository (because she’s always thrown up anything with red dye in it and all of the children’s stuff they had contained red dye) and she went home a few hours later when her temp went down. The next day she had a terrible rash, and we found out later that she’d gotten roseola. It was a scary couple of days!

    So other than that one time I’ve always used a bath and garlic to help fevers, and lots of cuddles to help my little ones feel better. 🙂 Thanks for the extra info, I’ll give those a shot next time, too!

    • Hello Caroline.. Would you please kindly tell me how to reduce the fever for a 2 year old.. I want to try a home remedies instead of giving her medicine..

      • I use for fever reducing the GSE grapefruit seed oil. Has no side effects,40 drops in juice, 1 hour later the fever lower or gone. OR peppermint oil, diluted in carrier oil, rubbed in the feet,spine. Cheaper at Plant therapy than at doTerra or young living.
        Thank u the very useful info. I like to learn. I’m trying to be a natural mom, so the doctor and the medicine the last thing. Or can be homeopathic pills too.

      • Mary
        I give home remedies instead of ORC, medicines, when possible.
        Wonderful you want to try natural home remedies too.
        No, not handing out medical advice. Can only tell you what my mom, and aunt gave. And I have given.
        You are best to check talk with naturopathic doctor, doctor or pediatrician before giving any home remedies.
        One of the best books all moms should have on her home is Prescription For Nutritional Healing. A great book for all ills.
        Has herbal remedies, natural healing and more.
        When mine were two (and older) and I wanted to help relieve a fever I gave a enema.
        My mom and aunt also gave the enema. We were given a enema for fevers, tummy aches, flu and colds (yes it does speed up recovery!) constipation, and more.
        Since he (yours) is 5 (?) now giving him (or her) a enema is one of the best, easiest, home remedy to give.
        My mom and aunt gave the enema. I always felt better after getting the enema.
        I will post more about this remedy. What to buy, prepare it, prepare the child, giving it and more.
        This remedy is recommended many times in the book I recommend.
        It works!
        I wish people would follow up telling how the child is, what remedy was used. Would be great way to learn

        • Sorry, ORC = OTC. Guess someone would be wondering what ORC is. Sorry. OTC = Over The Counter. All of thT junk non prescription junk.

          Enema has such a unfounded bad name. I tell others about it and I get the “ewww” or “ughh”. “Or “no way, not that”.

          But once I tell of the benefits of the enema. No mess. Does not hurt and more, many have gotten back to me and told me they are glad I told them.

    • Caroline, glad you commented and told of the garlic.
      I hate giving OTC stuff. And only meds if absolutely needed.
      I also use natural remedies instead of running off to the doctor or ER.

      I also use garlic.

      I have never heard of the garlic massage you gave him. If you or someone else can tell the procedure for this massage I’d love to learn it.

      I was taught years ago to give an enema for fevers, constipated child and more.

      The garlic enema works! I found it on Mandy’s blog. “The garlic enema “ at real food discovery.

      When giving the enema I use the reusable enema bulb syringe. A 4 oz for the baby and the 8 oz for older ones.

      The enema is given most of the time on a table. Don’t yell — but have even given the enema on the kitchen table.

      No mess. Does not hurt and works every time.

      Have everything ready for the enema to be given. Go get the one needing it. Offer privacy. Take your time . Have him relax when getting an enema. I even have let the one getting it watch tv (which we hardly do in our home. Or let him read or play on iPad. This helps him to relax.

      Best to consult with your doctor before giving home remedies. Including the enema.


  2. I place lavender doTERRA essential oil on , forehead, temples, back of neck and bottoms of the feet to help reduce fever and it works great for my family including my 2yr old.

      • Safety heads up!
        Peppermint oil is not a child safe oil to use until after age 6, spearmint is a recommended substitute for under 6. (using essential oils safely.com is such a great resource). I do a bath with a teaspoon of baking soda (to neutralize chlorine) and add 5 drops lavender EO to milk then mix in warm bath with epsom salts to help pull toxins out. Lavender is such a great all-around EO! I diffuse Helichrysum EO as it is good for colds/flu and congestion (and more) while he sleeps. I’m going to try the ACV in the bath next time his fever lasts longer than I’d like.

    • DoTerra…why that? It’s not organic and it costs more than all other good quality essential oils. When you apply non organic essential oils on the body, you apply a concentration of of the pesticides that the plants was sprayed with. DoTerra created their own certification that is not a guarantee of quality at all. It’s just marketing!

  3. I was fine with not fearing fevers but when your little one gets seizures with them it is super scary! Any fever no matter the temp can set her off so she’s just “not allowed” to have a fever until she’s outgrown this! (Obviously tongue in cheek) but seriously febrile seizures are treated as almost normal and I have yet to find any natural info on them! So frustrating though there was one study that linked them to anemia so our next baby will be getting more iron in his diet and we will see if it makes a difference.

    • Goodness, I’ll bet that was very scary! Did they explain what the repercussions could be if she has another one? I was under the impression that doctors are not overly concerned about them.

      “Most children with fever suffer only minor discomfort, however 1 in 30 will have a febrile convulsion at one time or another. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Febrile convulsions are not harmful to your child and do not cause brain damage. They are, however, quite upsetting to parents to witness.

      Most children with febrile convulsions only ever have one fit. Some children will have one or more seizures, usually during illnesses which cause a fever. There is no increased risk of epilepsy in children who have febrile convulsions.” Febrile Seizures: Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

      • We had to go through a lot of testing to make sure that they really were just febrile seizures because she ended up having complex ones…she also had 3 within 24 hrs from roseola. Thankfully nothing abnormal was found so we just watch her carefully and make sure they fall in the “normal” febrile seizure range, also she has never had trouble breathing during them. But the pressure to use fever reducers is quite high and I was also pressured to give her antibiotics when we took her in to the ER to get checked after the seizures…and both times she had viruses so the antibiotics were completely unnecessary. I keep telling people that fever reducers have been proved to NOT prevent a febrile seizure so I was glad to see your comment that they can actually set them off because people just put all their faith in fever reducers and good luck trying to explain why you don’t!

        • Yep! The fever reducers can CAUSE the febrile seizures because they suppress the body’s attempt to create a fever, and so it has to try harder, thus causing a higher fever (that rises faster), called a rebound fever. And Tylenol is absolutely devastating to the liver and should definitely be avoided!

      • My nearly 1 year old daughter just had her first fever which led to a seizure. Cause of fever is viral. I’ve been told to alternate tylenol and motrin every 3 hours for a few days whether she has a fever or not. I hate the idea of using those meds at all, let alone that often, but I’m too scared not to. I’m having such a hard time accepting the mainstream belief that “it’s normal, harmless,” blah blah blah. I’m so worried.

      • Thank you for bringing up the subject of febrile seizures! While they are not of great concern to a doctor, if in fact they are just febrile, this offers no comfort when your 1-year-old child is seizing in your arms. It’s heart stopping and when you have no idea what is going on, the best course of action is to go to the ER or get into see your healthcare provider ASAP. There is often an underlying reason for the seizure and knowing this will help with healing… especially when the kiddo has no way of communicating that anything is wrong. Our son’s first febrile seizure was completely out of the blue.

      • From what I understand, it’s how quickly the fever rises, not how high it goes, that causes the seizures. While scary, they are often seen as harmless, and unfortunately many kids are put on anti-seizure meds (unnecessary with risk of side effects) that do nothing to prevent the seizures, because, again, once it’s happened, it’s over (the temperature has already risen quickly). Some kiddos are just more prone to muster up a fever that rises very fast, I guess. I highly recommend the book “How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor” by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. He echoes the same sentiment discussed here that it’s about the child’s behavior, and NOT the number on the thermometer that should inform parents as to whether outside help is necessary.

    • I never heard of a link w/febrile seizures and anemia, would not be our case. We all have very high iron level but my son did have febrile seizure. It is the scariest thing and although I usually try to limit use of medecine, I do not mess w/fevers. If it is not going down using natural things I do not think twice about using fever reducer.

    • Hi Marsha,
      My daughter gets febrile seizures too since she was 11 month old. She is 4 now and still gets them with every fever. With her last fever we used Frankencense oil on her feet and neck and she did not get one. I also for the first time used Peppermint oil instead of Advil and it brought the fever down in 5 min. We also asked our neurologist to test our daughter for SCN1A genetic mutation even though we have no family history of seizures and it came back positive. That changes the expected outcome for the future and medication choices if ever needed. You can email me [email protected] if you want to talk more about it.

      • Thank you!
        Great info.
        We have a baby 16 months old and she gets the Fibrile Seizure when she has the spiked temperature.
        It’s very frightening as she has one last Saturday nite and the temperature does not want to go.
        What’s your advise??

        • You can rotate between children’s motrin and tylenol before it gets out of control. Give motrin, then tylenol after 4 hours if fever is still high. Wait the full 6-8 hours before giving motrin again. Work on building your baby’s immune system in between colds. I like First Defense.

    • There’s a lot of misconceptions about anemia. Check out the Root Cause Protocol (RCP) with Morley. He recommends healthier alternatives than increasing iron intake. DYODD

  4. Yes Marsha, my daughter gets febrile seizures and we have to watch her temp very closely and try to keep her well! So in some cases watching their temp is very important!

  5. My mother lost 60% of her hearing due to a high fever when she was a kid. I, too, lost some of my hearing in the left ear due to a high fever I tried to let “run it’s course” when I was in college. Sometimes, letting the fever go is not the best option!

    • I often wonder if my moderate-to-severe hearing loss in both ears was due to a really high fever as a baby or not. Since they (the hospital) didn’t do hearing tests for newborns when I was born, it was never determined if the hearing loss occurred before or after I was born.

    • I was hoping that someone would address this. For the most part fevers do not matter. However, a high enough can cause permanent hearing loss–sometimes even permanent deafness.

      I personally like using peppermint essential oil to bring the fever down and then creating an artificially warm environment by having the person drink hot tea, going in for a hot shower and/or bath, and then wearing a lot of layers of cloths and going to bed. In this way the body doesn’t have to work as hard to fight off the infection. (Note: I am aware that we are warm-blooded and our external temperature doesn’t normally match the internal temperature, but when the body has already expressed the desire for internal warmth, external warmth seems to bring about healing.)

      • People believed that during the middle ages. They bundled up during there fevers and often suffered brain damage and died. You should not cover up during a fever, that is just plain dangerous advice.

        • Seriously? They died from being too hot and not the other medical advice people followed back then? I know that it was common to dehydrate someone to death through vomiting and sweating. I know I feel comfortable when I have a blanket on vs. wearing light clothing. I don’t like feeling miserable.

    • The hearing loss is usually due to an undiagnosed inner ear infection that may have caused the fever. I havery 40% loss from that same thing. It had nothing to do with just a fever. A fever is caused by an infection somewhere in your body, so the “fever” doesn’t cause hearing loss/damage to body parts. I have been through extensive tests and research since losing hearing at age 3 to finally get my answer.

    • In our practice, we use Biotics or Standard Process, and it can also help “feed a fever” when needed (if someone just can’t muster up the full fever, but needs to for healing)- the body knows how to use it 🙂

  6. I love this! I talk about this in one of my blogposts. We use ACV for numerous things as it’s such an amazing “medicine.” On the other hand, we use essential oils, and peppermint on the feet works like a charm! Though I don’t do that unless the person is really uncomfortable or I feel too uncomfortable with the fever. I know it’s the bodies way of fighting whatever it is causing the fever.

  7. THANK YOU for this post! I’ve been wondering about all this stuff lately. My little girl had a fever of 101.1 the other night. My gut told me to do nothing and just let the fever do it’s work. After an hour or two it ran itself out. It’s so good to know what you can do if it gets too high for comfort. Here’s another idea to add to the list: my homeopathic doctor says to use belladona to bring down a fever. Obviously it would need to be a true homeopathic remedy mixed by a doctor trained in homeopathy. 3 drops under the tongue ever 15 minutes without food until the fever comes down.

  8. Were you just peeking in my window? My little one woke up with a fever this morning. She’s sipping cultured soda (made with ginger bug) and taking Chinese herbs (Xiao Chai Hu tang) which help to the fortify the “exterior” (immune system) while also strenghtening the “center” (digestion). Also, arnica (for the body aches) every two hours.

    I would do the lemon socks, but she’s wearing footed jammies, and I don’t want to disturb her quite yet. Definitely putting her into a warm ACV bath later though! Thanks for the great post. 🙂

  9. I’ve tried the garlic and also onions and they do work. My grandmother told me a story about being slathered in sautéed onions on her chest by a desperate nurse in the hospital during the influenza epidemic in 1917. It saved her life! But onions need a little olive oil in the mix just like the garlic so that you don’t get burns from the onions or garlic. I know, tried the garlic paste on the bottoms of my own feet in the wee hours of themorning while sick and was too sick to think straight while reading the instructions in an herbalist book on children’s health. I had blisters on top of blisters in the morning! Cleared out the nasty fever and sore throat, my breath smelled like something dead dead dead according to my husband. I have since used both the onions (sautéed in olive oil till clear and then cool down. We even put this on their chests when they had bronchial colds) and the garlic with olive oil on both my children with excellent results and they are now adults and tell great stories about these occasions mom made them stew in garlic and onions.

  10. This is great information! Another way to treat a fever is will peppermint essential oil diluted in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil). You can use a drop of peppermint EO diluted in about 1/2-1 tsp coconut oil & rub it on forehead, temples, neck, chest, and feet. It is very effective. I have used this method on myself, my husband, and my 10 year old little sister, all with great results! Thanks again for this excellent article!

  11. The one caveat that I would add to your post is that the frequency of fevers can be significant. There are several periodic fever syndromes that are dangerous and require medical attention. My 5 yo daughter has familial Mediterranean fever syndrome which can result in kidney failure if untreated (med is colchicine). Before we knew this, I was blown off by many docs and her fevers come every 6-8 weeks. Fevers are not always purposeful and need to be looked into when occurring frequently.

  12. Chamomile tea is also a good fever remedy.
    And I had read that high fevers deplete vitamin A, which is why measles caused blindness and hearing damage, so I always make sure to give my children extra cod liver oil when they have a fever. I took big doses of fermented cod liver oil when I got measles at age 24 (I had been vaccinated against it, but got it anyway–possibly from a baby who had just been vaccinated with MMR). It seemed to help, as I suffered no lasting damage.

  13. When I was a child, my father would put banana leaves on our foreheads to cool us and draw the fever out. It worked like a cold cloth, which is what I use now since I do not have access to banana leaves. :o)

  14. So, over the past several months I helped quickly treat colds in myself, husband, and daughter using a few different things. My daughter is 19 months old now, so this is controversial to some. I use raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized organic honey that I found at Publix! Only THIS sort of honey should be safe for infants above 6 months old(they don’t have the enzymes present int their tummy’s before then to digest foods anyways) as long as they are healthy. Botulism spores(which are prevalent in nature and other foods) cannot survive in honey since the moisture content is less than 18%. Actually, even if something had botulism spores in it, if our body is well then we should be able to defeat it easily. We know raw honey has many healing qualities; anti-bacterial, anti-viral. I mix the honey with apple cider vinegar(unpasteurized) in some heated water to alkalize the body(for help killing the virus). It’s tangy and sweet and my daughter finds it palatable. I also may just give her bit on a spoon. Raw honey also is good for diabetics since unlike cane sugar, it is a whole food mixed with vitamins and live probiotics and enzymes and has a low glycemic effect on blood sugar even though it is so sweet. We also consume maybe 2 tablespoons a day of coconut oil when feeling sick, although it could be more. Coconut oil gives you energy and the lauric acid helps kills the viruses faster. For my daughter, I might give her a jar of sweet potatoes(warmed) mixed with coconut oil, cinnamon, honey, a little Himalayan salt for her electrolyte levels and minerals, and I’ll open a powdered capsule of probiotics to pour in the sweet potatoes too. We try to stay away from grains and sugars when we are sick since the virus feeds off of sugar. Unless you have a diet that contains wheat and many grains daily, then blood sugar drops are not prevalent when you remove them. We also take Cod Liver Oil for the vitamin D. It’s hard to get my daughter to take this though unless I sneak it into the top of one of her organic pouches of pureed foods. I know garlic is good too, but I hate peeling and chopping it and I’m not sure what to prepare it in.

    • Raw honey is MORE likely to have botulism. Lower water levels decrease the risk of botulism, but I don’t know of any honey manufacturer that tells you the moisture content and any honey that has a syrupy consistency probably has enough water content to support botulism. Corn syrup can also contain botulism for the same reason that it is a syrup. Although raw honey has certain healing properties that pasteurized honey doesn’t, I would not give it to an infant under 12 months because if the baby does get sick I’d feel terrible if it was because I gave them something they didn’t need.

      Infants don’t need any kind of added sugar; it’s just not good for them internally. The main healing use for raw honey is on external wounds. Internally, it’s mostly sugar and acts as such. (I have chronic candida and honey, raw or pasteurized, feeds and worsens the candida. The sugar content feeds the yeast and any antifungal effects of the honey are simply not strong enough in comparison.)

  15. Excellent article. Have you every studied homeopathy? This is a great way to help the fever do its job much quicker than if left alone. It also strengthens the system and is 100% natural.
    Thanks again!

  16. I have never heard of the apple cider vinegar! So glad to find this blog! I am feeling we have a lot in common. Looking forward to being your newest follower!

  17. I use calcium lactate from Standard Process every time my kids get fever. I also use homeopathic remedies (depending on the symptoms). I let them sleep in my bed, especially with high fevers so I can keep an eye on them and keep them comfortable and make sure the are staying hydrated. I think the extra attention and care is part of the healing.
    I’m shocked at how many parents I know will give medicine for 99 and 100 degrees when it’s barely a fever and the kids are still running around playing …

  18. CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) Essential oils can contribute to the health and wellness of the whole family. They are especially adapted to the needs of children who resist swallowing a pill or gooey fluid, or being made uncomfortable in the process of “treatment”. Peppermint oil is fabulous for helping with a fever; Lavender is calming and pain relieving. There are many excellent essential oils and related remedies to empower parents in the care of their family. Using oils has changed how I view illnesses and what I- and my children- do when we are hurt, ill, or just out of sorts.

    • A little tidbit to add to the conversation about oils:

      Essential oils can cause stress to the immune system of people who are not compatible with them. They should be tested for compatibility before using.

      I used Thieves oil to treat a strep infection in my throat. While it partially killed the strep in my throat, it moved the bacteria through my body into my urinary system.

      I found out that I am incompatible with all of the essential oils I’ve been using, and my body has been treating them like toxins. I was surprised to find out that natural remedies are potent and can cause harm, too.
      Thought I would spread the word… 🙂

  19. This made me laugh: “Stick to a good, old-fashioned digital thermometer for the best accuracy.” Since I am someone who grew up with reel-to-reel tapes for music, I never thought I’d hear “old fashioned” and “digital” in the same sentence.

    Wonderful post!

    • Ha! I thought the same thing! I was thought, “‘old fashioned digital’? Aren’t the old fashioned ones made with glass and mercury?”

      • I laughed when saw “old fashioned digital thermometer.”

        Becky, yes the old fashioned glass thermometer was made of glass. It was filled with mercury. Which is toxic. So extra care had to be taken not to drop or break the glass thermometer.
        I took many temps, rectal and oral, with the glass thermometer. Always had to be careful not to drop it. And had to be careful that the child did not squirm or resist having temp taken.

        Most younger moms have no idea what the glass thermometer was or how to use it.
        There were two types. Rectal and oral. To tell apart, the rectal one had red band close to the metal end tip and the bulb metal tip for rectal was fatter/more rounded than the oral one. The oral one had blue band. The oral tip was longer than the rectal one. And was a longer metal tip than the real one. It was narrow.

        When one was sick the thermometer being used was often kept bedside in a glass, or a cup, or laying in a bowl or small tray of alcohol.

        The thermometer for oral and rectal was left in for 5 minutes then read.

        The glass thermometer needed to be shaken down before taking a temp. Hold it firmly and snap wrist when shaking it down. Shake it down to 94F or 95F. Shaking down took about half of a min. Then was ready for temp taking.

        After 5 min remove and read the glass thermometer by turning it around between your fingers until can see the line of mercury. Where the mercury stopped rising to was the temp.

        The digital ones today can be used for rectal or oral. So only need to have one thermometer. Instead of the old days of needing two thermometers in the home.

  20. Thank you, Heather, for all you are sharing! I did a search on your site for coconut oil and and this article came up. I do have a questions, if I may: have you compared the Nutive virgin coconut oil with the Radiant LIfe coconut oil? I think the price is better for the Nutiva brand. Thank you!!

        • I trust Radiant Life because I know they take great care in sourcing their products but I haven’t tried their coconut oil. Haven’t looked lately but last time I check WFN had the best price so I went with them 🙂

  21. Thank you! This is a fantastic resource for me. I’m a first time mommy to a 9 month old, and we both have the flu right now. My fever was up ton 103.8 and I was MISERABLE, so once his hit 101 I broke out the tylenol just trying to keep him from feeling like I did. I’m still torn as to what is best to do for him, but it seems when he’s gone 5-6 hours without it he acts a lot more ill. I’m an oncology nurse, and I’m finding my way further down the “natural” road for my family, but my education and “work” personality still kick in often and cause me to medicate my babe more than I maybe want to. I hadn’t heard of any of these treatments, just cool baths, which seemed wrong to me so we did an almost hot one, which helped us both. Thanks again, looking forward to exploring your site more when we’re up and around full time. 🙂

    • I love that you say you did a warm bath. I can remember as a child being made to take a “cool” bath when I had a fever and it was not just uncomfortable…it bordered on torture. It was actually painful. So I may use a cool compress on their heads, or even rub it over their skin if they will let me, but I have never been able to do the cool bath. I have, however, allowed my kids to wrap up in blankets to stay feeling warm. They generally sweat and get the chills in there too, but sweating is just another way to get the toxins out and helps our bodies cool off. When I see my child heading in the direction of wanting to bundle, I just keep a closer eye on the fever (to make sure it doesn’t suddenly spike to a place that is scary). But so far, for us, it has worked every time. I think our kids are much more tuned in to what their bodies actually need than we are! We have too much medical knowledge and/or conflicting information thrown at us over the years to always recognize the signals our bodies sends us!!

    • Don’t feel so bad about the Tylenol. My 9 year old woke up at midnight the other night with a fever that wasn’t very high (as fevers go). It was between 101 and 102. I tried several natural remedies with the result that she was still up at 2am and crying. Her throat hurt, she had a headache, and other aches. At 3am I finally wound up giving her the Tylenol. About 30 minutes later she was much more comfortable and fell asleep. Then she slept until about 10:30am, which was only 7 hours, but was better than nothing. But it was also a few hours past the suggested time to give another dose. To me, getting the sleep was the most important thing and I wish she would have slept longer. Within 30 minutes she was crying in pain again and I gave her another Tylenol. So we made it until just after 8pm without needing another. And then she made it through the night, woke at 7am, and didn’t need the next dose until 9am. She then made it the rest of the day until around 8pm. Then slept through the night and didn’t need any more. I didn’t follow the recommended dosing schedule, just went with her body not being able to take the pain. I wish that the natural remedies I tried would have worked. Natural is my first attempt. But sometimes you do need a small helping hand from meds.

  22. Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know, Christy! Comments like these make the negative ones worth it a hundred times over 🙂

  23. I pinned this post to my “Home Remedies” Pinterest board because it gives lots of sound advice about fevers and their root cause, as well as when more drastic measures need to be taken; so, the next time one of my kiddos has a fever, I can quickly access the information and see which treatment would be best. Thanks for sharing this information!

  24. I love, love, love, hearing about other moms who support the body’s natural way of getting rid of sickness. There is so much hype about reducing fever, and every once in a while I doubt myself for not “treating” it. It’s so nice to have support on this subject. Thank you for the tips!!!

  25. Lime flower, chamomile, elderflower and yarrow teas are great to aid a fever. Also just stay close to your child and bathe them with a cool flannel. As a medical herbalist I have come across many people, mostly parents of young children, who are terrified of fevers. They would use Tylenol, Calpol, or paracetamol as soon as the child’s temperature increased. This was done because most of them assumed a fever was a negative sign of illness, and not part of the bodies defence and healing systems. The added benefit of these drugs in making their child sleep, was also an attractive feature, in fact I knew several people who would administer these medications to their children, unnecessarily, so they weren’t disturbed at night!

  26. There is an older gentleman at our church (probably in his 70s) – he told me a while back that when he was born, he had been a twin. While they were still infants, they both came down with the same illness at the same time – it was horrible, and his mother tried everything the doctor told her to save them. When his brother died, his mother consulted a local American Indian woman, who counseled her to bath the baby in chicken fat. He states that his mother told him that he began recovering immediately.

  27. This is a good article. I just wish one thing…I wish we could retrain our brains pn how to think and talk about fevers and I believe that starts with the words we use. As a parent I have instinctively (and despite contrary messages from doctors) watched my kids and checked on the numbers every so often when they had fevers. However, when my child is sick with a fever, he or she IS SICK! So, no, they generally are not playing and jumping around. They are generally laying on the couch…SICK! But that isn’t reason enough to give meds. In fact, I feel like it is even more reason not to. I want what I like to call GOD’S ANTIBIOTIC to work, because it is better than anything I can give. (Yes, there may be times that our bodies need medical antibiotics…that isn’t what I am talking about here). I try to make them comfortable in the middle, but let’s be real…being sick sucks!! It isn’t meant to feel good. But no matter how your kids act in the middle of one, I wish we could get away from saying “treating the fevers.” I think that is why so many people think of fever as the enemy, as if they are causing the illnesses. We shouldn’t treat the fever, we should treat the illness (ironically, exactly what the fever is trying to do!). You won’t likely know what virus or bacteria you are up against but there are lots of things you can do to help your child’s body fight it…many that you mentioned in this article. So, yes, doing those things eventually leads to fever reduction as your child’s body no longer needs the fever to fight off the infection, but most of them aren’t actually about treating the fever. Our words need to start reflecting that we understand what we are trying to “treat.” We are trying to “treat” the infection, hopefully doing things and introducing and eliminating foods that will assist our body in that fight (such as getting a chiropractic adjustment, giving garlic, coconut oil, cod liver oil, bone broth and reducing or cutting out sugars which the bacteria or virus will feed on, etc). I may sound nit-picky to some because I think some people who say “treat fevers” actually understand that isn’t what they are treating. But every time I hear someone say it, I recognize that they propagating the misconception of what the true problem is. And I feel like once we can all wrap our brains around the difference, THAT is when we won’t fear it, we will embrace it, and we will have confidence to help our babies without calling on our doctors or medicine right away. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for getting this conversation started!

  28. My mom, a pediatric nurse (trained in the 60s), used to wrap cool rags around my lower legs and would then wrap towels around that and cover me up to keep the rest of the body warm. In German it’s called “Wadenwickel”. It seemed to always help, although I have to admit that, as a child, I was not a great fan of it.

  29. The best thing I have ever done for a fever worked so much better than any tylenol or motrin ever could. My child was running a 105 degree fever, and I almost took him into the hospital (We know that there’s no reason to go to the hospital for a fever), until I realized that if egg soaked socks work, then it would work even better if you just cracked the egg on the forehead. I WAS RIGHT. I taped cotton balls over his eyes (to protect them) and cracked a fresh organic egg onto his forehead. By way of conduction, the heat transfers to the egg, thereby reducing fever. Within 30 minutes we were fever free. I want to share this with all loving moms out there! 🙂

  30. We do peppermint oil/coconut oil on the feet with socks and a warm epsom salt bath with peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oils in the bath. It is very relaxing. My son just had a tiny stomach bug last night and fever. We did all this (and have done it all before) and he was better this morning. We also do colloidal silver, cod liver oil and vitamin D drops along with water to drink to boost the immune system. This remedy has been working for us (I have 3 kids).

  31. My mom used to put a towel soaked with white yoghurt over my stomach, sometimes over my legs, and my arms, it felt nice and fresh.. and made me feel better… and actually doing it with my girls.. if I dont have yogurt I simply soak the small towel with warm water and put it on their head, feet, legs, arms..

  32. Hi Heather!

    I just re-read your article on treating fever as I have a little one with a fever. I looked at the two different kid’s calcium chewables I have and neither of them are Calcium Lactate (One is Calcium Aminoate and one is Tricalcium Phosphate). Where do you find Calcium Lactate? The last two I bought, they just asked the age of my children and provided “children’s calcium.” I am wondering where to get calcium lactate, and if it is in adult servings how much to give a 2 year old? Thanks for your time and help!

    • Standard Process makes calcium lactate – it’s usually sold through chiropractic offices. I usually rely on bone broth so I haven’t looked around much, sorry! Regarding dosage, I’d check with the manufacturer of whatever product you end up purchasing. Hope your little one feels better soon!

  33. I didnt worry about fewer until our macrobiotic friends 3y son had to be resusciated because he collapsed from febrile when in high fewer. Since than i use drugs to bring fewer down when it is too high.. Sorry for my english, im not native.

    • That’s complete non-sense! Fever can shoot up in minutes- to measure once a day is idiotic. You might get a different attitude if your child goes into a fever induced seizure. Temperatures over 104 can cause brain damage!

  34. This is a good sharing oof information about the natural way of treating fever although sometimes when my baby has fever, I still get confused what to give her whether treat her in a natural way or give her a dosage of meds bought over the counter.

  35. I am happy I found this post, my 18 month old runs some nasty fevers because of teething and i soak her socks in white vinegar, which helps a lot but I’m going to try it with the apple cider vinegar now! I am also going to get some calcium lactate, do you have a brand you recommend and the best way to get a toddler to take it? I would think to crush the supplement and add it to a drink 🙂

  36. We did the crushed garlic on my infant granddaughter and it left huge blisters on the bottoms of her feet. It did lower her fever though. I would not leave it on more than 30 minutes on an infant.

  37. Thank you for all the helpful info. I have a 5yo a 2yo and a 9mo. Yesterday and this morning they all have a fever and cough. I hope some of this natural stuff works, I am not a big fan of western medicine. Thanks again for all the advice.

  38. I also use a mixture of lavender EO, peppermint EO, melaleuca EO, mixed with carrier oil. I apply this to the soles of the feet and back of the neck as needed to bring down fever. Works like a charm, plus the lavender helps calm and reduce pain.

    • Which oil did you use as a carrier oil and how much of the lavender, peppermint and melaleuca did you use?? Also did you mix it and put it in another bottle so you have it on hand when you need it or do you mix it as you need it…I’m new to using oils and was just wondering. Thanks.

  39. Yes I have used them. Always use this method and it works everytime if you need to break the fever. A simple cup of hot cinnamon tea. Bundle up and the fever will break and you’ll sweat it out within 5 to 10 minutes. Cinnamon is an anti-pyritic agent, a natural one. 🙂
    And yes I understand the role of mild fevers in fighting bugs. 🙂

  40. I totally agree that the actual number on the thermometer is far less important than how the child is acting. When my son developed a high fever last winter, I couldn’t find my thermometer, but it was clear he was burning up and very uncomfortable. I didn’t worry until he started not responding properly, and saying strange things. I was on the verge of taking him to urgent care, when I decided to give one thing a try– vinegar socks. I soaked cotton socks in ACV, put them on his feet and wrapped them up in a towel. 2 minutes later he fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. About 20 minutes later he woke up completely alert and lucid, and was willing to have a lukewarm bath ( to which I added AcV) He went on to have a peaceful night’s sleep, waking only once to request “those socks” I will never forget this experience because it was so dramatic!

  41. I don’t like treating fevers with Tylenol or Motrin, but recently my kids ran high fevers 104-105. They didn’t need to go to the ER, they were sipping liquids, etc…. My natural homeopathic, herbal, essential oils weren’t cutting it. So yeah…. I gave them the other stuff. What COULD I have done when everything else wasn’t working?

  42. I think that we are the best when we are left alone for our bodies to heal them selves, God created them to know what to do..unless there is high risk or something major happening then I’m all for modern medicine

  43. Erika- I think this mainly applies to fevers that are lower than that. That is a pretty high fever- I would do the same thing! Plus, at that point, they probably felt horrible with headaches and things, and I would want to treat that, also…

  44. So happy I have a pediatrician that shared this info with me years ago. And so thankful for natural remedies that help my family feel better!

  45. The key is don’t let them get dehydrated, Diane. I let my sit in a tub of water to play if I think they are getting dehydrated. Yes it lowers the fever a bit but this is only if I can’t get them to drink. That being said I have 5 kids and never dealt with dehydration with them and don’t lower fevers 99.9999% of the time.

  46. Finally! I have been saying for years to let a fever alone. A fever is GOOD. It means the body is doing its job to fight the germs. It’s not good to interfere with the body’s natural process. Any fever up to 104.5 should be left alone unless the person is extremely uncomfortable, delirious, or having other scary symptoms. The fever is not the enemy! Our bodies will not allow a fever to go too high except in extreme cases such as poisoning or other rare occurrences. I once had a dad ask me what to do about his daughter’s fever. I told him if it was approaching 105 to get to the ER because it may be something serious. In the night it went up to 105 and he took her to the ER. Turns out she’d been accidentally poisoned with chlorine tablets for a pool while visiting someone’s house. She needed medical care and the fever was not the enemy, it was a signal that something was wrong.
    So many people are terrified by fevers because of what we have been taught. It’s about time the truth comes out… treating the fever can be more harmful than letting it go. The conventional meds for fevers are dangerous and bringing down the fever unnecessarily is counterproductive.

  47. I give my girls a warm bath if they need to cool down. By the time they get in and relax, the bath becomes tepid and they are cool. If you do a cool our cod bath, it increases shivering and exacerbates the problem. Sometimes, ice cream. Sometimes homeopathics. Whatever works depending ppb the child and illness.

  48. While I prefer natural methods as well, fever is not to be taken lightly. As a NICU and pediatric nurse, I’ve seen febrile seizures more than I care to admit. A high fever can cause very serious effects. People really need to understand both sides and not take fever lightly. Not to mention its very uncomfortable for the child.

  49. Great info. My son has had 4 febrile seizures in his little life. Very scary to watch, especially when he would fall and hit is head. It always made me sad to have to pump him full of meds to reduce the fever. Fevers are good and work to fight infection. I found it hard because he has had Celiac Disease and his bad gut flora could have caused a lot of issues from the start.

  50. @ Ericka.. My general rule is to treat with NSAIDS at 103. Im not a hard core enough to let it go higher than that. Fortunately I havent had many issues with high fevers. I will admit to giving NSAIDS so that I can send my child to school so that I can work. Somebody has to feed the sick kid.

  51. I’ve had both an MD pediatrician and a naturopathic doctor tell me not to use Tylenol on my son. One attributes it to childhood asthma and the other said it can cause to autism. Either way, I’m not about to use it to break a fever.

  52. Finally!! I cannot tell you are LIVID it makes me that fever reducers for infants are a toxic cocktail that I felt incredibly guilty every giving my child until I found natural ways to bring it down!!

  53. I agree with this and don’t treat fevers (sometimes I have given medication for the pain and discomfort associated with fevers), but my kiddos have never had anything over 102 either. I know of two cases in which a child’s fever led to heartache. One child died, the other ended up with severe cerebral palsy, but in both cases the mothers actually did treat with medication for the fevers. The fevers spiked too quickly for medication to work on time to save the children from the damages. The point of me saying this is that I believe in cases where fever is going to be this damaging I don’t think there is much one can do with or without medication to prevent these rare complications.

  54. Thanks! We’re battling hand , foot & mouth with a 102 fever & I needed to read this! I did actually get acitominiphen suppositories for the mouth/throat pain (so he would nurse). I felt better about that than the artificially flavored & colored syrup stuff (which seems to have been making him throw up!)

  55. My daughter used to get bizarre, routine fevers every month until she was 2. They were always high (104+) so I gave her Tylenol when she reached 103 and/or seemed uncomfortable. I always prefer natural methods but I’m not going to make my child suffer when there is something that will ease the pain and help her rest. We started giving her probiotics and she hasn’t had her fever illness since 🙂

  56. I’m not a fan of fever reducers either but I have never had a doctor tell me a fever would fry my child’s brain cells. Just the opposite in fact. I’m 100% for natural remedies when possible but I’m not for bashing the medical community or making them out to be idiots either.

  57. I had febrile seizures from about 6 months old til 5 years old. They were chronic. My temp would go from 98.6 to 106 in about 5 minutes. They never discovered the cause of them. I was on phenobarbitol for 5 years which helped control them somewhat. My normal body temp is now 99.9 to 100. I believe my hypothalamus did/does not function correctly. I later developed multiple allergies (which are now all gone except 2), idiopathic angioedema (swelling of the throat due to triggers you are not allergic to), rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia. My son got a febrile seizure from his MMR immunization and had to be put on phenobarbitol for 6 months.

    • Interesting….I was a perfectly healthy child until I got the MMR shot and my immune system crashed….many years of illness, fevers, cccccooooollllldddd baths (torture that I still recall quite vividly) and big ol’ shots of immunoglobulin (sp?) in the rump. My five kiddos are hence not receiving those tortures. When I mentioned the MMR on another site I was called a fearmonger….:-)

  58. Another good natural reducer is peppermint oil essential oils. I dilute mine with coconut or olive oil and rub on the bottoms of the feet or around the navel. Especially when they have nausea associated with the fever.

  59. I learned years ago during a heat wave in Texas that fevers do NOT damage the brain! What damages the brain is the disease that causes the fever. The body is actually fighting off bacteria and viruses when it is hot. There are treatments that require feverish patients to hug heating pads and drink hot liquids to keep up the heat! We need to lose this myth that fevers hurt the brain. It should go the way of thinking that being cold causes a rhinovirus. It doesn’t!!

  60. if you’re miserable with a fever, you should be sleeping through it anyway! let the fever do it’s job! you don’t need to feel a little better so you can function–you need to get well, and that fever is your body fighting.

  61. I find it interesting that there are always stories brought up about a fever gone wrong. That’s an exception to the rule. Most of the time, a fever is not something to get freaked out by. Last week my son had a fever, I let him rest and drink fluids. By the end of the day he was more active and the next day he had no fever.

  62. It’s a lot of work, but keeping them wiped down with a cool rag works wonders to bring a fever down. I let my kids run fevers so long as I can bring them down and keep them comfortable with natural methods and don’t let them get too high. My kids are rarely sick and the fever is helping them fight off the infection/illness. I will *occasionally* have to reach for the Tylenol (or Motrin for a really high one) to bring it down and keep it from spiking at night, but we manage well with all natural methods for the most part.

  63. My GP told me this 8 year’s ago with my oldest. Best advice ever. I have moved countries in the mean time and here they can’t understand that I am not constantly checking my childrens’ temp. If they are comfortable, that is all that matters.

  64. To a certain point I will not use a reducer. However the last time my son had a fever he became lethargic and VERY slow to respond…THAT is when you need to use a reducer along with a bath! My doctor is fantastic and is typically more natural and she agreed that a reducer at that time was indeed necessary with strict instructions if it didn’t take it down(or becomes unresponsive) at all to take him in to find out the underlying cause!! Any fever as long as they are acting somewhat normal should be okay left alone…

  65. Paula Steenwyk – In the post I mention several signs doctors say indicate the need to seek help. Lethargy is one of them for sure!

  66. If you keep it from spiking you’re sabotaging your child’s immune system! The spike it EXACTLY what kills the pathogen. Then it’s over!

  67. My daughter, when she was younger, had one fever one night if 105, one of 106. She certainly has zero brain damage. Is all in advanced learning classes and honors. Since those big illnesses in her youth too, she now barely ever gets sick! Now in the last five years I don’t think her fever gas gone above 102 ever.

  68. One thing I don’t get in the article- baths jack the fevers up and down really quickly. Even tepid ones. This can definitely induce febrile seizures.

  69. Mommypotamus, sorry I didn’t mean to sound aggressive, just agreeing (and giving my example of when we needed it:-) im glad this is finally being brought out main stream….too many people are giving meds when it is completely unnecessary!

  70. When me and my toddler had high fever all we did was sleep all day together, drink fluids and eat in bed. We got better in 4 days but the person who gave us the virus took 2 weeks to get better with antibiotics.

  71. This comes just in time as my boy came back from the UK with a temperature, cough and runny nose. I did lemon socks, thyme and sage tea and homeopathic cold remedy .. he’s sleeping now and still hot but will not give him any reducers as that means that the illness gets longer or comes back the week after… just a couple of nice quiet days and he will be better…

  72. For two of my children I never break a fever unless there are other signs that they need me to. I think that’s happened maybe twice between their nineteen combined years. Obviously, a fever serves a purpose. With the youngest however, I do end up having to break his, or it triggers an asthma attack. When I break the fever, it helps break that asthma cycle. That was a very hard system for me to accept, since I’m generally not for fever breaking. But for him specifically, it’s safer not to get the fever. And yes, that makes it take longer for him to conquer the initial illness, than it takes his brothers. But his body has learned to figure it out.

  73. A fever greater than 104 in a child is dangerous!! You’re not “sabotaging your child’s immune system” by bringing there fever down, that’s nonsense. Some kids walk around with a fever while sick but show no signs of it bothering them. However, some children stop eating or drinking because they feel so sick from the fever. It’s this case scenario that requires comfort measures because remaining hydrated during a period of fever is a top priority. Natural methods for low grade fevers (100-103) can work. These include cold drinks, tepid baths (not cold baths), cool washcloths to the armpits and forehead, and removing excess clothing. If the fever is reaching a dangerous level, or your child is not drinking, Tylenol should be given along with natural methods unless you wanna risk brain damage and severe dehydration. Fever definitely serves a purpose during periods of illness but do not think it can’t be dangerous. I’m all for not dosing your child with a fever reducer at the first sign of illness but one does need to know when it is necessary.

  74. A couple weeks ago all my kids ran a fever. 2 of them 100-101. The third however was worse 102.5-103.4. Never once gave them anything. DH asked me to call the doctor since the one was so much worse. The nurse dropped the phone when she found out I didn’t give any of them fever reducers. I asked her how king everyone else had been sick with this infection, ‘oh at least a week maybe longer honey’. “Great, my other 2 were sick for 18-24 hours. See fever reducing just makes it last longer” he was fine in about 30 hours. Stupid general practices!

  75. I will say anything above 104 it is dangerous. Screwed my niece’s speech really bad. 3 1/2 years later, she still can’t talk normally.

  76. We use wet washcloths and peppermint oil to help with fevers. I disagree with the statement that fevers are always good. Sometimes, the heat helps incubate the illness. You should let the patient rest, but not sleep through the fever. You must push fluids! Most people and children don’t drink enough water anyway, so this is imperative! As far as OTC fever reducers are concerned, acetaminophen accumulates in the liver, and ibuprofen is hard on the stomach. We only use it when the fever is high and not responding to other methods.

  77. Danette, a fever greater than 104 and/or dehydration can be lethal to children. Tylenol can be dangerous to anyone if used in excess. There are safe dose ranges for a reason. I would weigh the benefits vs the risk for every situation. Would you let your child’s fever continue to rise and literally cook there brain because Tylenol could also be dangerous? Well in that case I would assure you that the fever is the bigger threat in that situation.

  78. I rarely give my children medicine but ill not let them suffer with a fever we do luke warm baths(not too cold bc it causes shivering which makes fever worse) and if that doesn’t bring it down I alternate safe doses of Tylenol n motrin. Ill be damned if my children will lay around suffering with a fever if the correct amount of meds can make them feel better by treating the fever

  79. We don’t treat fevers unless my kids are super uncomfortable & can’t sleep. In that case, we use essential oils and homeopathics to boost the immune system, not suppress it. Great article!

  80. Latest research on Tylenol and toxicity has been focusing on the fact that Tylenol is in so many OTC products. Some are treating there kid with 2-3 “different” cold medicines while not realizing each one contains acetaminophen (Tylenol). This leads to overdose. Education is needed on these OTC products and not fear mongering. I would wager that uncontrolled fevers have killed way more people than Tylenol.

  81. Ok I must have missed it thank you , I need a main stream article to prove to my husband that I’m right about not treating fevers lol he’s so old school about stuff like that and freaks out.

  82. I’m completely for all natural homeopathic remedies and those are definitely my first choices, but sometimes our gut tells us something else and we have to go with it. I just experienced this with my daughter. 5 days of homeopaths, EO’s, ice packs, lavender with lemon, etc and the , fever wouldn’t break and she wasn’t eating well or drinking well or keeping things down. I chose to get her to the er and get her on antibiotics. Really bad infections. 5 days later and she’s doing much much better. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other. Comparing your child who has had a 106 fever and was fine, isn’t the same for another child who’s body doesn’t handle 106 fever well. It’s just so silly to compare! We have to use our best judgemnts as moms! We know our babies!

  83. I believe all the articles say to treat the child. It’s not a cookie cutter situation. As a nurse I know this all too well. You must treat each situation different and assess your child . If ever in doubt seek medical care.

  84. Whilst I am all for natural remedies, I think some of the information in this article is severely flawed. As a registered nurse I am horrified this article suggests that parents wait 3-5 days of a fever before seeking medical advice. If parents with limited or poor parenting skills read this, there could be serious consequences or even death for some children if they do not get their ill child to a hospital. This is true, not just for immune- compromised kids. Please, please be careful with your children.

  85. A fever is the bodies natural way of healing itself. You should never reduce the fever.
    There are certain levels, that if they last a few days, then yes, get it checked out.
    I have never used anything to reduce a fever and the illness never lasts more than two days. Reducing the fever only extends the illness.

  86. Peppermint oil on the feet will reduce a fever almodt immediately. Only therapeutic grade is safe to use though, so beware which brand you use.

  87. Peppermint oil, certified therapeutic grade on the feet, and back will bring down a fever. And rubbing alcohol on pulse points, inside elbows, anywhere major blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin

  88. Thank you Heather for the great reply. My co-worker has a daughter who is now a vegetable because her fever got up to 107. The high fever did do considerable brain damage. I too am open to natural healing practices, but there is a time when common sense is the best answer, and leaving a child at home with a 105+ fever and putting eggs on their heads or garlic on their feet just won’t cut it. Don’t forsake your child’s health in the name of “natural” remedies.

    • I agree with above comment. Use best judgement when the fever is high. Even low fever can lead to febrile seizures. I have that worst experience with my child. Use natural remedies along with conventional treatment.

  89. You don’t “treat” a fever because it is a symptom not a disease. Fevers are beneficial and essential in eradicating viruses and bacteria and it is an immune system response. A fever of 104F should be watched closely to make sure it doesn’t go higher. Treating the cause of fever (usually infection) is the proper course of action. There are many natural ways to support the body’s healing process. If you have questions about this feel free to private message me. Warmly. Dr Kat

  90. What a horrible article. This lady gonna get people hurt. They’re basically telling the majority to diagnose their children without a background in medicine. Not to mention there are no references as to where the information comes from other than some doctor on YouTube who may not even be licensed for that matter. I see a bunch of parents that take this mommypottamus’s word as gospel and now know just enough info to hurt there children

  91. Diamond Vi – The recommendations in this post are not from me, they’re from qualified healthcare practitioners and sources such as the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, a doctor at Loyola Medicine, and a report published in the prestigious Journal of Pediatrics, not to mention other physicians.

  92. Helen Etherington – As a point of clarification, that recommendation comes from pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson. According to her, medical attention should be sought if a fever persists for 2-3 days, unless the child is running around and acting fine, then she says up to 5 days.

  93. Joe Boyd – The new report in the Journal of Pediatrics specifically contradicts the idea that a high fever will “cook” a child’s brain. Also, I do mention in the post that doctors recommend seeking medical attention if a child becomes dehydrated or stops responding well.

  94. Frying brain cells?! That’s absurd. Fever is the body fighting disease. It’s a good thing! We just have to control it.

  95. I had three different pediatric doctors at a children’s hospital when my son was ill who said there is NO danger from a fever, even if it is high and/or causes seizures. The danger is the illness causing the fever. Fever reducers (medication or natural methods) are only for the child’s comfort. My son ran a fever of about 102 for 10 days (viral illness with a rash – we’re still not sure what it was).

  96. Hmm I curious how many adults heed this same advice for themselves? (Sincerely asking) if an adult is sick for 3-5 days do they not take conventional meds?

  97. we were weaning when daughter got sick with a fever, breastfeeding her got her all better by the next day. it’s crazy how well that worked. 🙂

  98. Great question, April Ridgel! I can’t remember the last time I took a fever reducer, it was a looooong time ago! Interestingly, I don’t have illnesses drag on like they used to so I’m sick for 2 days max. Part of that may be because – as the Journal of Pediatrics report mentions – allowing a fever to do it’s thing often shortens the length of the illness.

  99. Thank you for clarifying, but I understood clearly the first time. The risk of uninformed parents taking this information on board is very serious. I have enjoyed your posts in the past, but am very concerned about this article, there is not enough balance here.

  100. Mommypotamus – it is well documented that fevers over 104 are dangerous and should be treated immediately. You can’t stand on just one journal article as proof of some new, revolutionary finding. That’s just irresponsible. You need many peer reviewed articles of research that supports this idea that a high fever is not harmful. Brain cells begin to die at high temps. I’m sure the exact temp where this begins to happen is still of much debate. Regardless, have your child seen for a fever over 104. That is what the consensus is right now in the medical community. Better to be safe than sorry. Brain cells to not regenerate. Please do not take one journal article as gold. Do your due diligence and find several others that have come to the same conclusion before making recommendations.

  101. Am I reading the same article as those of you who disapprove? I’m confused. What brought you to like this page? Most of us who are fans are looking for a less conventional, less mainstream and more natural way to raise our children. I, for one, would love to use an alternate solution rather than drug my child just to reduce a fever. I am also not heartless. If my child is clearly uncomfortable, I have used over-the-counter fever reducers in the past. This article is pretty much in line with my pediatrician’s philosophy. My children do not see a holistic doctor. They go to a regular pediatric office the follows the guidelines of the Academy of Pediatrics. This article is not asking you to make dangerous choices. It’s basically giving the same advice a doctor’s office gives when you call and ask questions if your child has a fever. My pediatrician believes the the fever needs to do it’s job, which is help the body respond to the infection. Those of you that disapprove are behaving as though she is recommending a snake bite to reduce the fever. Look at the article again. It really is not as far fetched as you believe. Thank you for posting mommypotamus. My son has a fever I am monitoring as we speak and this article could not have come at a better time.

  102. I am a registered nurse and I actually just had this conversation at work with an excellent pediatrician with whom I work, who did this as a research project in med school. The brain sets the thermostat, so to speak, and will not ‘cook’ itself. If the body’s temp rises due to an external source (in a car on a hot day, for example), yes it will overheat and ‘cook’ and damage will be done. But not when it’s the brain as the body’s command center fighting an illness. As long as the child is coherent, hydrated, and urinating, there is no need to be concerned. We get fixated on numbers; the state of the child is more important to watch, and a healthy immune system will do its job appropriately and turn the heat up to what is necessary to kill the pathogen.

  103. Joe Boyd – I don’t mean this in an argumentative way, but I’m curious to know if you actually read the post. Here’s an excerpt in which I share pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson’s recommendation to seek medical attention for fevers over 104F:

    “But do know there are some fevers that do require a visit with the pediatricians. It’s important to seek care when fever persists after 3 days in infants and children, any fever in a baby 3 month old or less, and if fever is over 104 degrees.”

  104. Thanks, I think I would have just made it simpler, and more inline with what the photo at the top of the story says ” 5 ways to treat a fever naturally”, explain the natural home remedies you mention and explain how the body combats bugs by raising body temps, but then emphasis that seeking medical attention is very important. Although you do quote paediatricians, and other sources, there will be parents reading this article that may not have wise judgement or medical backgrounds or may be confused and will read this article as : “no need to seek medical advice for a fever for 3-5 days, as its generally ok. ” And that IS alarming. There is a whole lot more factors involved in deciding whether a child is seriously ill than temperature…and more involved than fluid intake and activity levels.

  105. Mommypotamus – Of course I read the post. It’s very informative. I agree with most of it. My main point is that there is a time and place for a fever reducer/pain reliever. I will concede that “cook” was a poor word choice. However, in certain cases a fever can be dangerous and should be evaluated. Just as you pointed out. All natural/alternative methods do not always work. If they did we wouldn’t have a need for pharmaceuticals. They should be the first thing to be implemented though. Can’t put all our eggs in one basket.

  106. Why are people arguing over something so trivial? She puts out advice for those that want to live more naturally and if you choose to take the advice, great. If not, move on along. So far the advice I have gathered from her sight, which you have to LIKE to see it, has been a life saver and so have the remedies. This way doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are too mainstream to even consider natural remedies and big pharma loves you! I would never put my child in harm’s way or have her suffer for a second if I could help it…but do believe I will put garlic on her feet before I put medicine in her stomach. Not saying I haven’t when needed, but I do try natural first.

  107. I dont give fever reducers to my kids most of the time. I have found that it reduces the duration of whatever they are fighting…sometimes in one day! I try to follow the same rules for myself. The pediatrician has always told me it doesnt matter how high the fever gets as long as we know whats causing it. (viruses in our case)…i dont like feeling them hot but i keep them hydrated and resting and i let the body do what its supposed to do!

  108. The best stuff I’ve ever been introduced to: Cold Snap™ by OHCO. It has kept my kids very healthy for their entire 7 & 4 years of life. I am so grateful for it, I give it to them daily and have not had to deal with sickness/high fevers/ear infections all of the other typical “kid” stuff. Personally, I prefer prevention over treatment but love the information if anything ever does slip past.

  109. Thanks for sharing! I try to keep my youngest’s down below 102 though, bc he has febrile seizures if it gets much higher. He’s only had a fever twice in his life though. 🙂 I let my eldest go usually. Good info.

  110. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar worked! For Christmas, my niece gave everyone a bad cold. Everyone else’s low grade fever went away after a couple days while my daughters (she’s 2.5 yrs old) was going in to day 4. She wasn’t having the vinegar on her forehead and tummy so I just rubbed a soaked cloth on there feet for about 20 minutes. It’s been 24 hours and no fever since. Amazing!

    Something else that has never failed us is this cough remedy. If you have a cough that is keeping you awake, rub Tea Tree Therapy Eucalyptus Chest Rub (or whatever chest rub brand you like) on your feet and put socks on. Within 20 to 30 minutes, you will be out and won’t cough all night. Seriously…has worked on my entire family every time.

  111. So I found your artical and I am a believer in natural healing, but totally believe that meds have their place. I get so overwhelmed with info. There’s so much out there on natual healing, herbs, oil etc. what is a good beginner resource. Something to draw from when you have basic health wellness questions for a family. I went to my herb store and they recommended an encyclopedia!! I’m not trying to become a dr. But I would like to know the basic strengths of garlic and it’s uses or how peppermint oil can help reduce a fever. I don’t want a library— one good book???

    • Please look into any form of peppermint before using it for a small child, especially a baby. It causes seizures, brain damage, or worse.

  112. Terrific post! I will be trying a few of this tips on my sick toddler, I gotta say I was freaking out a bit because I dont want to take her to the hospital unless she has to go, dont wanna give her any unneded medicines either

  113. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!)
    Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  114. I know this is a “late” reply, but after our son had a temp of 105 tonight, DH got panicky and went out and bought Tylenol “just to have it on hand.” We aren’t going to wake him up just to give it to him, and now, after reading this, I really wish we didn’t spend the money. I usually listen to my “inner mommy” and I really wish that I had read this BEFORE going to the store! I think if he wakes up again, I’ll try the vinegar remedy first. Thank you for this post, as it soothed that voice inside my head that panicked.

  115. Thank you for this article.

    Do you know the dosage to use for calcium lactate for children? I cannot find any guidelines anywhere, even though it is recommended on many websites.

    Thank you,

  116. i am struggling with this as my son has had a fever for basically 3 days now…we are offically on the 3rd day. I have not been able to get off work yet so my MIL has been giving infant advil and/or tylenol and it is just killing me. it got up to 104+ yesterday and i mean once its that high, i don’t know what else to do besides go to the ER or load him up on the meds. we ended up calling a nurse line and they were more worried about his cough than the fevers any way and the nurse was saying the fever is his body’s way to fight off his virus (thank goodness she said that cause thats how i feel too!) but it just scares me so bad. I hate feeling him at night and him being super hot. i broke down and gave him another dose of the infant advil a few hours ago and his fever did go down. it was up in the 103’s when I did that. We have a dr appt tomorrow for his well baby but we might have to go in today since its been going on for a few days. i am just discouraged. i hate giving him all that medicine but since I am not there to take care of him all day I don’t know what else to do. I told her to just wait off on it if he is in a good mood and if its not too high, like around 102 or lower. it just keeps fluctuating so much. we have that stupid enterovirus 68 going around here 🙁 i hope its not that. wish me luck!

  117. My 11 mo daughter had a fever 101-102 with a runny nose for a few days. She was definately uncomfortable, I kept her hydrated with water, coconut water and gave her a dose of tylenol at night so she could get some rest. One morning she woke up with what looked to be a black eye, long story short she had a sinus infection. Not fun. The antibiotics worked immediately, with the black eye symptom going away in 24 hours. Her pediatrician recommends daily probiotics from age 2 months so she’s been on them for a while. She got diarrhea from the the antibiotics, which then caused a bad diaper rash. Diaper rash is still here a month later. Her per recommended the usual to start with–zinc and aquaphor, when this did not work she said to try lamisil this was to harsh and caused the top layer of her skin to peel of like a sunburn, so per said to try over the counter hydrocortisone for the itching, helped a bit but not enough. After this the ped said she exhausted her usual recs so to see a pediatric dermatologist. She put her on a stronger steroid cream, didn’t really work, called her back and she prescribed something similar to monist at–finally looks better! You never win, I wish I could always treat with natural stuff so these side effects did not come up.

    • If you get a bad diaper rash again that you just cant kill, ask the doc to prescribe nyastatin (spelling?) I know another name for it is nystop. Its is a powder and worked wonders for us. My daughter got a bad one after antibiotics and I normally used desitin plus cornstarch on top and it always worked. Not this time. But after I used the nystop it was almost completely better the next morning!

  118. Our pediatrician always tells us that if a child is going to seize with a fever they will seize whether it is 101 or 104. No magic number. We have always used Unda drops to make our kids more comfortable but never supress the fever.

  119. Definitely do not use garlic that way overnight. I knew an herbology student who tried it the way its written above (overnight and directly on the skin) and the garlic took so much skin off that the hospital had to treat it as an open burn.

    If you want to use garlic paste, apply a layer of thick oil (olive or coconut is fine) then a layer of gauze/cloth, then a layer of garlic paste and a final layer of gauze over that. And I would only leave it on for a couple hours even then.

    • Totally agree that EXTREME CAUTION be used when applying garlic directly to skin. I used straight garlic in my skin overnight (to treat a pimple!) and it too nearly burned my skin right off!

  120. I have to disagree with you about febrile seizures. THEY ARE VERY DANGEROUS. My father had them. I had them when I was little on numerous occasions and all my children have had them. These were brought on by a high fever that came on all of a sudden. My middle daughter quit breathing several times before getting to the ER, while she was in the ER and on her way by ambulance to another hospital. We were told these were brought on my a low fever tolerance. Thankfully, we all outgrew them but we are very careful with any of our small children.

    • Hi Debbie, as a point of clarification it is not me that said febrile seizures are not harmful, but the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Based on what I’ve read from other experts, it is my understanding that while febrile seizures are not harmful, the illness causing the fever can in some cases cause harm. If all works properly, our bodies fight off the illness. However, sometimes our bodies need help. When I asked my pediatrician if using a fever reducer would help my child fight and illness better, he said that it would not. He encouraged me to watch my child and to bring him in if he showed any of the signs mentioned by Dr. Chow-Johnson.

      • Roseola can be scary. My aunt was given CPR by my grandfather (till the ambulance came) after she stopped breathing following a seizure caused by the fever. It ended up being roseola. Terrified my family. They still talk about it. And that was before fever reducers. She started seizing at 104.

    • At Debbie: we don’t have anyone in family with febrile seizures, but my dtr has them now when her fever either SUDDENLY goes high or low. Seizures are not dangerous, however, it does matter how long child is having a seizure. The less the better. When I looked at her while she was seizing, it does look as if she is breathing unevenly and maybe pauses her breathing, in any case, it is better to have a plan and be prepared. BTW, my dtr was having seizures about an hour after I gave her Tylenol… so those meds don’t really make any difference..

      • Crazy late replying to this, but just in case anyone else is reading these (like I was!). My daughter had a febrile seizure when she was 2 or 3. She had (we found out afterward) her first ear infection. Her temp got up to about 103.5, a very slow rise. I panicked and decided it was time to use a fever reducer. Gave her some Motrin, checking her temp every few minutes to see if it would fall. It did- precipitously. About 15 minutes later, her fever was down to 99.5, and THAT was when she had her febrile seizure. Yeah.

        That said, I tend to get frustrated with fever advice, because it is always “treat the child, not the number”. My daughter is incredibly uncomfortable with even very low fevers. Apparently most other kids still play happily with low or even midgrade fevers? Not mine. She acts like a husband with a cold. 😛

  121. I hate coming in late to the conversation, but I really wanted to write this, just in case someone sees it, especially the author.

    Most of this article is fantastic, and needed to be said.

    However, you need to know that no one should supplement with calcium. No one. Not women over a certain age, not elderly people, and especially not children. Calcium is not well absorbed in supplement form, no matter what you add to it. It should only be received in food form – but not dairy or “calcium added” foods. Calcium supplementation is one of the biggest reasons for the large amount of health risks today. It does not factor in how our bodies work.

    Quality D3 and quality magnesium in the correct forms are much better suggestions. Always look into how the different forms work, and are absorbed, or not absorbed. D3 can only be absorbed sublingually, same as the B vitamins. Magnesium is best when chelated and in addition to an ionic magnesium. Look for these in baby/child formulas. My son has been taking Superior Source brand D3, Country Life chelated magnesium, and Vitacost brand Natural Tranquility ionic magnesium. He gets his calcium naturally from vegetables.

    Take good care.


    • when talking about fever, can you please use the equivalent (38, 39, etc)
      some of us have that kind of thermometer.
      thank you

  122. I can’t believe no one has said it yet. An enema! I hate doing them, but they have worked 100% with my young kids who were always too young or sick to remember. Once they are older, they can do other home remedies, but every baby and toddler of mine immediately (within an hour) had their fever drop after an enema. I would always wait until I thought, “It’s enema or the hospital. Let’s do enema first.” And it worked.

    • DD, omg I am glad you mentioned giving an enema! I agree with you! I am also cannot believe enemas were not mentioned yet.

      As long as the fever is not 104+ and no other symptoms there, I always say, like you, “give an enema!” For fevers I give either a catnip tea enema or a garlic enema. Few times have given a plain cool water enema.

      Good source to learn this enema remedy is in book Prescription For Nutritional Healing.

    • DD, agree with you.
      I also have given enemas for fever reduction.
      They always work!

      Also put comment below.

      Always check with your pedi/doctor before giving any home remedy. This includes giving a home enema.

    • I cannot agree with you more.
      I have the same feelings about the enema. Exactly like you say. Enema or head to hospital or doctor.
      Now before some yell at me (and you), of course watch for any underlying issues, and if 104F. Take to the doctor if in doubt. At least call.

      Like you every baby, toddler and older of mine has gotten the enema.

      The bulb syringe and enema bag are still in my home. Used when needed.
      Actually I gave one few days ago.

      I don’t hate doing them like you say.

      Everyone considering a home remedy needs to call thei doctor first.

    • 3 stars
      Drea, commented back in January 2016, I also can’t believe no one has said it yet until you did! An enema!
      I don’t mind giving them. Agree with you they work 100%.
      I have tried other home remedies for constipation and fevers. The enema works the best for both of those.
      Every time I administered an enema within an hour the fever dropped after the enema.
      I also would wait until I thought, “It’s to give an enema or trip to the ER.”
      So like you, an enema was given. It worked.
      It never fails the fever goes up late at night for both of mine. I have given an enema late at night and the fever went down. I take the enema bulb syringe, pan, or large bowl, of tepid water, towel and jar of vaseline to the bed room. Given on a towel on the bed. Or across my lap on the towel. He slept well after getting the enema.
      Not giving medical advice. Consult with your doctor before giving home remedies. Including an enema.

      • 5 stars
        Absolutely love this article and comments left by others.

        My mom and aunts gave the enema for constipated child, fevers, help child recover from a cold and more.
        And I have administered many in my home.

        Glad Drea was first to mention enema on here as a good home remedy. I kept reading comments wondering when the enema would be told.
        I don’t mind giving enemas. Given in my home and in other homes. The enema is not hard to give. Does not hurt.
        Best to consult with doctor before giving one.
        Far better to give the enema than give otc stuff or run to the ER. Where, Lord knows, what ills you will get from the ER.

        But, very important to know the danger signs of fevers and when best to take to the doctor/ER.

        Best to have the bulb syringe and bag in the home before one gets sick late at night.
        As a former home nurse years ago, I suggested the mother have the enema in the home.
        Best to give a practice enema so know how to prepare and administer the enema.
        No time is worse than to give your first ever enema when he is sick.

        It is good to give him an enema once a month regardless.

        Again, not medical advice.
        Check with your doctor first.


  123. I have 5 kids and I agree a fever is good for them but the last year has changed my opinion on this for one of my kids. We have found our digital thermometer stops reading after 107.2 and just reads hi. We don’t know how hi our sweet two year olds fever can reach. We have learned as soon as she gets a fever we need to start alternating meds in order to keep her fever around 101-102. She has had a seizure once but with warm baths, peppermint oil and meds we haven’t had another one. I worry about her sweet little brain every time this happens. This has happened 4 times in the last year and we are clueless to why. I have found very little evidence as to why. There isn’t much out there other than this sometimes happens to kids (which isn’t good enough for me). I try to use as many natural options as I can and hate medicating unless nessesary. I will try your tip of apple cider vinagar to help bring her temperature down and look into calcium and vitamin d as well. Does anyone have experience with this they could share? Thanks!

    • Hi,

      I don’t have any experience with the seizures. But I use a wet socktreatment when there is a fever in my home. My doctor told me to soak your socks in a mixture of 1/3 lemonjuice and 2/3 warm tapwater. Get rid of the extra moist and put the socks on as you go to bed. They will be completly dry in the morning and the fever will be down or even gone. I never use anything else than these wet socks!

      Hope it works for you too!

    • Mara, omg your thermometer stops reading at 107F? Pray you didn’t wait around home when it hit 107F !! I call or go to the doctor when it is over 104F. Or, other symptoms are present.

      I also hate medicating. I try as many natural options as I can. Including enema.

      Speaking of the enema, I looked for DD’s comment about enema or trip to hospital. It was not posted by DD. It was posted by Drea. I agree with Drea, its either a home enema or a trip to the hospital – doctor’s office.

      Hospital/ER trips means a great chance of coming home with something (bug) that they didn’t go there with!

      Best to always call and consult with your pediatric doctor or naturopathic doctor before giving natural home remedies.

      I love going to my local health food store. So many good herbal remedies to give. Like catnip, garlic, camomile and more.

      The woman who works there is a former nurse and she is very much into natural remedies. She does not like OTC stuff and meds….unless absolutely needed.

      She suggested I give my two home enemas when needed. So, I got my 2 quart red rubber enema bag and my 6 ounce reusable rubber enema bulb syringe from her at the store. Especially for constipation and fevers, the enema is great. I have thanked her every time I go into the store now! I have used both of them many times in my home.

      Blessings. Hugs

  124. I also can’t believe no one has said it yet. An enema!

    I don’t mind giving enemas. They are a very good remedy to bring down a fever.

    The fever was brought down in all of mine by giving an enema!

    Just like you DD, I would also think and say “It’s giving an enema or a long trip to the hospital. Let’s do enema first.”

    I would get out the enema bag or bulb syringe, depending on age, and give an enema. The enema worked every time.

    Enemas went away for years. Moms used to give them often in the home for fevers and constipation. They (enemas) are coming back. Moms have learned they are a good, simple, fast remedy.

    Of course check with your pedi/doctor before giving an enema or any home remedy.

  125. Not giving medical advice. This is what I do for fever reduction. Every mom needs to call their doctor or pedi for advice before giving any home remedies or an enema.

    I prefer giving natural remedies for fever reduction. Fevers can be a good thing for the body. So, I normally try to let the fever run its course.
    Keeping the one with a fever comfortable. Give lots of liquids. IMHO if the fever is over 104, and other symptoms are present, then it is time for a doctor call or ER visit.
    I wonder if any one has tried the egg whites on the feet. Or, the cabbage leaf on the head remedy?
    As far as home remedies for fever reduction, I am a believer in giving an enema to bring a fever down! Mine seem to only get a fever late at night or on the weekend. Or the fever gets worse late at night. I do not like feeling him late at night and him being super hot. Enemas are the best thing I have ever given for a fever! Saved a trip to ER or doctor a few times. And they work much better than Tylenol or motrin.

    The first time I gave an enema for a fever was a few years ago. One night one of mine was running a little over 104 fever! I almost took him to the hospital or doctor. I know there is no reason to go to the doctor or hospital for a fever. So, I called another mom who is a older nurse. She told me to immediately give him an enema! She told me do not give a Fleet enema. She told me to give a bulb syringe enema. I did not have a enema bulb syringe at the time. To make matters worse, I had to take all of mine and the sick one in the car to the pharmacy. I am a divorced single mom. When we got home I immediately gave him an enema.

    OMG it worked! From then on I was sold on giving enemas for a fever.
    I am like DD, above, first an enema is given and then I see if the fever went down. So far giving an enema has worked every time for my three! A few times I had to repeat the enema about four hours later. My three have had their share of fevers. Thank goodness no sizeures.

    Most of the time I give a plain water enema. Not cool and not warm water. Tepid. Enemas in my home are given with a 6 or 8 oz rubber enema bulb syringe. I found the best way to give one to a toddler is across my lap. Place a towel on my lap. Have him lay face down on his tummy across my lap. I have the pan of water and the enema bulb close by.
    My youngest one resists getting an enema. My nurse mom friend told me to either give him an enema on a table or across my lap. For across my lap way, have his legs hanging down between my legs. That way I can control him when he is getting the enema by squeezing my legs on his hanging legs and placing my other hand on his back to hold him down if needed. She told me if giving enema on a table to put him on a towel on his back. Holding his legs up in the air some for the enema.
    She told me do not let him talk me out of giving him an enema.

    I always clean the bulb syringe after each enema. Clean with warm soapy water. Rinse well with plain water. Air dry the enema bulb for a few day. Do not store damp! This will cause dry rot and mold in the bulb syringe. I found best way to air out the enema bulb syringe is to put it upside down between the wall and the towel rack in the bath room. I leave it there to air out for a few days. Check it for any wetness. If dry put it up.

    This board gives lots of good advice about fevers and natural remedies to bring a fever down.

    Saving this information….I make notes on 3×5 cards. Each card has “heading” for each natural remedy or procedure to be given. How to prepare, give and results noted on the card. I cannot depend on the net 24/7 to search for a answer when needed. I also have the book Prescription For Nutritional Healing. Wonderful book. Every mom should have it in the home.

    So, the next time one of my four kids has a fever or ill, I can quickly access the information on the card or in the book to see which natural treatment would be best for him.

    In advance I want to thank all of those on here for sharing this information!

    This is not medical advice. Except for a few nurses on here, most are not medical professionals on here. Neither am I. Best for you to seek appropriate medical help/advice from a doctor before giving any natural remedies or an enema. Someone mentioned above that some natural remedies could be harmful. So ask before giving any home remedy!

    • Mara, omg hon. I have no idea how you dealt with four seizures! Bless you hon.
      Did you find out what causes them?
      What other remedies have you tried?

      Egg whites on the feet! If a mom has used this remedy, please let us know how it went.
      Did it really bring the fever down?
      What about a mess from the egg whites?
      How many eggs are needed for this remedy?
      Do I repeat the procedure?

      Jennifer, I am glad you posted on how you air the enema bulb syringe after cleaning it. You are correct if you do not completely air it out mold will be inside.

      I air mine out by laying it on its side or sitting it up right on the bathroom counter, or on side of the tub. Lay the bulb and the nozzle on a towel. I remove the nozzle from the bulb syringe when airing it out.

      I was told after washing it and I could rinse with some alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This keeps mold from starting.

      I will air it out the way you do from now on. Learn something new every day.

      This board is the best! I love, love, reading about fever reducing remedies on here.

  126. Thank you for this wonder list of natural fever reducers!
    I will try some of them listed.
    Recently my 6 yo had a fever. I also didn’t want to use “traditional” remedies.
    Meds have a place. But, unless absolutely necessary I prefer using natural remedies to reduce a fever.

    I gave him a garlic enema. I think this was also mentioned above by another mom above,
    It worked!
    I read about this remedy in book Prescription For Nutritional Healing. Has directions in the book how to make the tea, how to give the enema and how often need to give enemas (every four hours if needed). Every mom should have this book in the home. Very good book!

    I did as the book stated. Gave him one enema and then four hours later gave him a second garlic enema. Gave the enemas with a small rubber enema bulb syringe.

    It says to give a second enema four hours after the first enema. If the fever did not break. His fever was going down after the first enema. But, I decided to give him a second enema.

    Of course, check with your provider/doctor before giving any home remedies. Or enemas.

  127. Just really want to say THANK YOU as the ACV worked its magic to “draw out” the fever in my 10-month-old son when I really needed it! I’m a new mom to a set of twins so it gets a bit hectic especially when they get sick. I also just recently forwarded this blog post to my brother as my 1-month-old nephew was running a high fever. Really appreciate the amazing content on this site and will definitely be back for more :).

  128. We use ACV-soaked socks when a fever is getting really high and we want to bring it down some. (Otherwise, I just leave it be.) I call them “stinky socks,” because the silly name seems to make the process more tolerable for the kids, who don’t really like it.

    I do have one child who’s had a febrile seizure and I want to add my voice to those saying it’s not the degree of fever that really makes a difference. This child had run a fever of 104 for a while, and was totally fine. Later in the day, when her temperature was only a little over 100, she seized. And yes, it’s pretty freaky to watch, but if you’re prepared, know what’s going on, and know it’s nothing to panic over, it’s a lot easier to *not* panic.

    • I also laughed when read “Old fashioned digital thermometer.”
      Yes, digital thermometers are fairly new.
      Not that long ago I finally got rid of my shake down rectal mercury thermometer! Now that was a old fashioned thermometer!
      Younger moms today have no idea what it means to get jar of Vaseline out, clean and shake down the thermometer and taking a rectal temp.

      Great blog! Love it and the comments.
      Wonderful job!

  129. Take their socks off and put whipped egg whites on the soles of their feet. Wrap with papertowel and then put their socks on. I also wrap with a large enough baggie. Send them to bed and when they wake up they announce they feel better. It does bring a fever down pretty quick. Some say 30 minutes others say few hours.

  130. I am amazed reading about egg whites to reduce a fever. Not that I am wishing for a fever to come but I want to try the egg remedy.

    Baffles me how that could work. Thanks Karen above and others above for telling how you do it. Does it make a mess?

    Fevers have a purpose. Written about above. I monitor a fever. Let it take its course. Give plenty of liquids. Keep comfortable. If gets too high, normally above 104, check with doctor or take to dr or ER.

    I have given rub downs with water. Also given luke warm baths. Never cold baths or rub downs. Don’t want to chill too fast. There is another page that tells how to give rub down for fevers. I will find it and post the link. Good page.

    Another page, by a doctor, she tells to give an enema. She tells how to give one and how much water and how often to give one. I will find that link as well.

    If I see the fever rising or spiking, I also do what DD and few others on here say to give: an enema is given.

    I was surprised DD was the first mom to mention enemas.

    Recently my 5 year old had a fever. It spiked up at night. I had given him baths, liquids and rub downs did help him. Instead of running out middle of night to ER, I gave him a cool to Luke warm water enema at home. The fever went down. He rested. About four or five hours later I gave him a another enema. I did not have garlic on hand that night or he would have gotten garlic enemas. They work. I have given them before.

    Enemas do not hurt. They will bring the fever down. Easy to give. Have a enema bulb syringe in the home. That way you don’t have to run around when one is not feeling good with a fever.

    Not giving medical advice. Just what I have done. During illness and fevers call, or go to, your doctor. Find out from doctor if ok to give egg white remedy or enemas. Always check with your nurse or doctor. I would say a naturopathic doctor would be more open to the eggs and enemas. Mine is.

  131. I am not sure if this is a coincidence- but my son had a fever and achy joints and was feeling quite miserable. I put him in a warm baking soda and epsom salt bath and afterwards his fever had gone down a whole degree! The next day he was nearly back to normal.

  132. I agree with DD who posted above. Enema.

    I also have brought down late night fevers by giving a enema or enemas.

    Since they are a good natural home remedy to give, I do not mind giving enemas.

    Every baby, toddler, and older child who I gave an enema to, the fever always dropped in a hour or less.

    I have used many different home remedies. I think the enema is one of the best to give.

    Do check with your doctor before giving a enema. Especially if the fever is over 104f or other symptoms are present. Not giving medical advice. Only telling what gas worked for me.

  133. Nothing scares me more than my babies being sick. Love the natural remedies. I’ve also read that when baby is sick you should try skin on skin, apparently moms temp can help to regulate and bring baby’s temp down. Not sure it works but I always do it.

  134. So thankful for this post! I have always thought to use my heart before my head. My momma instincts always come through with fevers. Last night my 1 year old was burning up. We have no Tylenol in the house and I started to feel bad. Instead I remembered that fevers are good and he would do better fighting through it. I use a baby/child remedy from a local herbalist and I LOVE it. It does not take anything away immediately but it helps to soothe. So thankful for posts like this to affirm my thoughts and teach even more natural ways to help keep the little ones comfortable!
    One night of being in bed snuggling with momma and he was a bran new kiddo by the end of the day today!

  135. Megan what was the baby/child you got from the local herbalist? What is the name of it? Love to know and may try it.

    In a way that may have been a blessing that you had no Tylenol in the house.

    I do not like giving stuff like that. I prefer using natural remedies.

    Before anyone yells at me, yes I know what signs to look out for when the child should be taken to ER or doctor.

    Real late the other night my 2 and half yo b was burning up and uncomfortable. None of the warning signs were present to take to ER.

    I remember reading DD’s comment above saying “it’s enema or the hospital. Let’s do the enema first. “

    I wanted to do the egg whites remedy. But no eggs in the house. I decided on giving him a enema.

    Fortunately i got a enema bulb syringe a few weeks ago. Thinking the enema syringe would be a good thing to have in the home. Just in case the need came up to give him a enema.

    Like DD, and others on here, I decided on giving him a enema.

    It worked. Cooled him. Cleansed toxins out and hydrated too. The cooling, cleansing and hydration are very important when there is a fever. Unbelievable that he was so much better after the enema!!

    I didn’t mind giving him the enema. No mess. He took it very well. Given on a towel on the bed.

    Not a doctor and not giving medical advice. Check with a doctor before giving any remedy.

  136. This may have been asked and answered but there are 296 comments and I don’t have time to read them all. What about fevers in adults? Thanks for your response.