Hi, this is Dr. Kathryn. As a parent, I know it can be really difficult to watch your child suffer from fever and illness. Many parents turn to over-the-counter medication to bring a child's fever back into a normal range. But a fever is the best defense your child has against a viral or bacterial infection. Bringing the fever down through artificial means keeps the immune system from doing its job. A fever that is produced by the body in response to a bacterial or viral infection is not dangerous to your child. Even a high fever up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit will not cause lasting physical damage to your child. Febrile seizures can occur sometimes in children under the age of five but these are rarely serious and are caused by a rapid change in body temperature not by how high the temperature is.
If your child is sick with a fever, your most important concern is keeping them hydrated. If the fever lasts longer than 3 days or your child seems listless, irritable, confused, or has difficulty breathing - see a doctor right away. A temperature over 100 degrees in children under the age of 3 months may be caused by obstetrical interventions during birth, hereditary conditions, circumcision infections, or an adverse reaction to vaccinations and you should see a doctor right away. If your child has a fever due to heatstroke or accidental poisoning this is very serious and they need immediate medical attention.
But for most children, even a high fever associated with cold or flu-like symptoms is not a cause for concern. Let your child rest if they need to, eat if they want, and give them plenty of fluids to drink. Herbs, homeopathics, and probiotics can be used to support the body's immune system if needed. Check with your local naturopath for suggestions.