Health expert weighs in on how you can manage a fever without medication

A Metro Detroit health expert weighs in on how you can manage a fever without medication.

It’s important to point out that a fever is not always a bad thing. By raising the body temperature, a fever enhances the function of our immune system and it’s actually helpful. Of course, it’s also uncomfortable, and there is a point where a fever in children should be treated, here are some ways to do it without using medication.

“Really one of the most important things we can do really for any sort of illness or when our kid’s not feeling well is making sure they’re staying hydrated,” said Dr. Kevin Dazy a Pediatric Hospitalist of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “Those cool fluids will help their body just cool down naturally on its own.”

When you have a fever, your body naturally loses fluid faster according to Dazy.

Allowing the body to cool off naturally is a simple thing to do -- that means rest and light loose-fitting clothes. Another “go-to” that can help without the use of fever medications is a simple old-fashioned sponge bath

“We don’t want to do an overly cold bath or an ice bath that’s one thing not to do when we’re talking about trying to cool our kids down,” said Dazy. “But a lukewarm or a tepid bath, you could use a washcloth or a sponge but again make sure it’s kind of in that lukewarm variety, um just enough to make them feel more comfortable and lower that body temperature just a little bit”

And finally, Dr. Dazy cautions against two things parents might wonder about

‘Never give aspirin unless directed by your doctor or pediatrician and do not give it for a fever,” said Dazy.

Also, grandma’s old fashioned rubbing alcohol - isn’t recommended for cooling.

“That’s bad for a couple of different reasons -- No. 1 there is no such thing as the evaporation effect of alcohol and No.2 just the absorption or just the air itself of that alcohol can make kids just not feeling well,” said Dazy.

If your child has had a febrile seizure in the past, chances are your doctor has talked to you about managing a fever or even a seizure, but for the average child, you shouldn’t be afraid specifically about a seizure with a fever. It’s reasonably uncommon -- the bigger concern if the fever is high is really more what the underlying cause might be.


About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.