Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Temperatures/fever – to use Calpol or not to use Calpol?! July 9, 2011

Filed under: Natural Remedies,Parenting — naturesmother @ 8:08 pm
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Several times I’ve given Calpol or Nurofen for a fever, because I believed that my baby was in danger if I didn’t.  But is this really true?

Why do we get temperatures?

A fever is your bodies defence mechanism.  It is a positive sign that your body is working correctly. When your body gets an infection, your temperature goes up, triggering your immune system to produce more white blood cells, antibodies, and other agents that fight infections.  Babies & children get fevers even with minor viral infections. Mine get fevers when they are teething.

So, do we give Calpol?

In the past I have given Calpol, much less often then most people, and only if they feel incredibly hot.  I personally do not keep a thermometer, because I trust I can tell when my child is really unwell, and I don’t want to become obsessed with taking temperatures, when temperatures can be raised due to many other reasons (emotional upset, too many clothes, bedding, physical activity, etc.) .

I heard from a Dr recently, but cannot find any evidence online, that febrile convulsions most commonly occur at 38.1 degrees C, which is really not that high. And that febrile convulsions are in any case not thought to be harmful.

In effect, giving medication which lowers the bodies temperature, means you are preventing your body (or your childs) from doing what is supposed to do, therefore prolonging the illness. (Nevermind the fact that these drugs have a negative impact on babys little organs) Now that I understand this, I no longer want to use drugs at all.

Ayla had a temperature a few days ago.  She was really chesty and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t Pneumonia or anything serious.  By the time we got to the doctor her temp was 38.6 degrees C. Hardly surprising seeing as she was overdressed for the hot waiting room, and she was crying.  The first thing he said to do was to get her temperature down.  I went with my new found information and my gut, ignored his well meant advice, and she sweated a bit in the night and by morning she was completely back to her sunny little self! We bed share so that helped me to keep an eye that things didn’t get out of hand.

My question is, what about babies that are younger than three months, who apparently can’t regulate their own temperature. Is this true, and would you give Calpol? Anybody?


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