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Facts on Fever

Sunday, 02 November 2008 12:25

Today parents have been programmed by advertisers as well as the medical community toreduce fever whenever present, even in the light of the side effects of fever reducing medicacations. Fever should not be routinely reduced, in fact, it has been shown that Fever reducing medications are strongly advertised and prescribed, yet for most infections illness and death increase when fevers are reduced. Many even believe that recovery from infection is swifter when a fever is raised with warm baths, warm fluids, covering warmly, or raising the house temperature.

Fevers are dangerously high however somewhere beyond 103 degrees F, at which point reduction through medication or a cool bath should be considered to prevent possible brain damage (thought to occur around 106 degrees in children, possibly 104 degrees in adults). A child under three months of age with high fever must be medically examined. By blocking certain elements of the immune system, common fever reducing drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin) interfere with disease fighting, and healing as well. Using ibuprofen with chicken pox greatly increases the chance of developing necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) infection, since it reduces a child's immune defenses. Asprin use with influenza or chicken pox can lead to dangerous Reye's syndrome. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) prolongs chicken pox illness, among others, and poses liver risks.

--Excerpted from Baby Matters Dr. Linda Folden Palmer