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Most childhood illnesses are characterized by fever. It is widely known that fever activates the immune system in a natural way. It is less widely known that fever can strengthen the immune system, help prevent susceptibility to other illnesses in later life, and confer developmental benefits as well.1
Pediatrician Uwe Stave reports: “Fever attacks can affect children in quite a positive way. Even though his physical strength is reduced, the child may disclose a wealth of new interests and skills. He may find new and advanced ways to communicate, think, and handle situations, or display a refinement of his motor skills. In short, after a fever, the child reveals a spurt of development and maturation.”2
Dr. Stave explains this observation by referring to the effect of warmth on the physical organism: “Fever acts by shaking and loosening up the physical body. Activation by heat can help the Ego form and reshape the physical organization of the young child. In addition, the physiological and biochemical functions of organs and systems are assisted in the maturation process through febrile illness, and inner forces gain strength and become more differentiated. Although the pediatrician often shares parental concern that repeated feverous infections overstress the young child’s fragile organism, fever most often supports development and individualization, although it is sometimes a warning signal, indicating weakness in the child’s defense against his environment. As children grow older and learn how to control the will, gradually an “inner fire” replaces the “developmental fever” of a young child.3
The Vaccine Factor
Many of the childhood illnesses that involve fever, such as measles, chickenpox, and mumps, have nearly become anachronisms due to the routine vaccination of infants. Parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated for some or all of these illnesses need to appreciate the seriousness of the diseases and the child’s special need for strict home care and medical help in mustering the forces to overcome the illness. Measles cannot be treated like a common cold or flu. Whooping cough requires weeks of convalescence and may require medicine to help fight the illness successfully.4
On the other hand, if you do vaccinate your child, you need to recognize that introducing the illness through the vaccine is a powerful shock to the body. Dr. Wilhelm zur Linden states that the reason vaccinations are given to babies and infants is because older children can react with cramps, fever, vomiting, and confusion. He states, “It is now known that small children react so mildly because they do not yet possess sufficient strength with which to counteract the vaccination.” 5 Dr. zur Linden suggests giving the homeopathic remedy Thuja 30x morning and evening, starting on the day of vaccination, to help protect the child from the effects of the vaccine-induced illness. Whether or not to vaccinate a child, for which illnesses, and at what age are individual decisions that parents must make for their children, weighing the pros and cons as best they can.