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Viral Fever – What you should know about it

Parents hate the word fever. But suffering through viral fever is an extremely important part of growing up for children. Children must suffer through viral fevers to build their immune systems and so as parents we must not be over enthusiastic about doing just anything to bring the thermometer reading down to normal. Here is what you should know about viral fever. If you have further questions – connect with us 

What is fever and why do we get it

Fever is not a disease. Fever is the body’s way of informing us that there is something wrong with the body. Fever can be caused by a variety of organisms. Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis, Dengue etc. are all fevers that are caused due to infections that happen when the body is under the attack of a variety of organisms. Fever in children can also be caused by various organisms. But the commonest cause of fevers in childhood are a vast array of viruses.

[ctt template=”1″ link=”68Uag” via=”yes” ]Fever is not a disease. Fever is a message. Our body is saying “I am in trouble – help me”[/ctt]

What should you do when your child has a viral fever

Antibiotics cure only bacterial infections

Antibiotics cure only bacterial infections

Most of the fevers that children suffer from are caused by viruses. Viral infections usually do not require aggressive treatment. So, when a doctor first sees a child with fever – he usually prescribes a mild medication that brings down the fever and relieves the child’s symptoms. It is the standard practice to wait a few days before giving anything to actually kill the virus because when the infection is allowed to run its course and subside on its own – the body gets a chance to build immunity against the infecting virus.

It can be difficult for anxious parents to follow this wait and watch policy however – because they are desperate for their child to recover immediately. And it is this understandable impatience that often prompts parents to urge their doctors to prescribe antibiotics.

While it is understandable for parents to want to make things better. It is important to recognize that antibiotics cure bacterial infections and are useless and superfluous in case of viral infections. And that urging the doctor to start antibiotics, is useless and possibly even harmful

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What should parents understand about viral fever

 Allow viral fevers to run their course

Allow viral fevers to run their course


Short spells of illness are like extra coaching for the child’s immunity.

Children are born with very little immunity. And the short spells of viral illness serve to school the immune system so that it is trained adequately and is able to graduate to eventual good health. So, as troublesome as they may be – short sick spells are actually good for your child. Just grit your teeth and suffer through them for some eventual good

 

Don't over treat your child's viral fever with medicines

Don’t over treat your child’s viral fever with medicines

Before you start your child on antibiotics – know this

Focus on preventing illness rather than on curing it

Dedicated conscientious parents never want their children to fall sick. And so these parents should focus on prevention instead of cure. However despite your best efforts at prevention – there will be times when your child is sick. And when this happens – allow the fever to run it’s course under your doctor’s supervision. The time, energy and effort you invest into looking after your child will fetch you rich dividends in the form of a strong immune system for your child. Resist the temptation to over treat with medicines and overwhelm with love and comfort.

Excessive use of antibiotics causes drug resistance

Antibiotics are two edged swords

Antibiotics are two-edged swords

Antibiotics, it must always be remembered – are two-edged swords. They can cause as much harm as good if they are not used at the right times for the right reasons. Excessive use of antibiotics is a foolish and dangerous act because whenever we use an antibiotic, the bacteria learn how to fight it. They develop new resistance mechanisms to combat the antibiotic. So the next time the antibiotic is used, it is not as effective. Excessive use of antibiotics can be equated to sharing war strategies with the enemy.

 

Unnecessary use of antibiotics weaken immunity

Antibiotics kill all bacteria - good and bad

Antibiotics kill all bacteria – good and bad

Our body has 2 kinds of bacteria – good bacteria and bad bacteria. When antibiotics enter our body they kill all bacteria – irrespective of whether they are good or bad bacteria. So, antibiotics don’t just kill disease-causing bacteria, they also wipe out other bacteria that keep the body healthy. Losing the good bacteria is a huge loss for the body because it weakens the immunity and results in repeated bouts of infection and illness

Unnecessary use of antibiotics weakens the immune system

Unnecessary use of antibiotics weakens the immune system

2 ways fever can actually help your child recover from illness

It is really horrible to suffer through fever. It is difficult to imagine that it can be good for you in any way – but it is.

  1. Fever is actually one of the protective mechanisms of the human body. The higher body temperature that we call fever is protective because the heat it creates, makes it difficult for the disease-causing organism to thrive in the body. Disease causing organisms (especially viruses) do not like to live in hot environments and so they quickly leave a body that is in the grip of fever.
  2. Fever also ensures that the child feels so sick that he is compelled to rest and fall asleep. When the child is asleep his body has fewer things to do and is able to use all its resources to fight the disease-causing organism.

Fever has a role in actually helping your child to recover from the disease. So it is important to give your child a medicine to lower the fever, only on the advice of the doctor.

What happens when you give a medicine to lower fever without your doctor’s advice 

  1. The misuse of fever lowering drugs can prolong the illness and indiscriminate overdose can result in a harmful overdose
  2. Suppressing fevers with self-medication – without consulting a doctor can also result in some major illnesses going undetected for too long. These diseases can become more difficult to cure as a result. So always follow your doctor’s lead and advice when your child has fever.

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Help your child build Immunity

As your child’s body works hard towards building up his immunity – contribute to its efforts in really easy ways.

Watch 3 ways in which Exercise improves Immunity

Do you have questions? Connect with us for a consultation

 

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