I always thought that as soon as my baby has a fever I need to bring it down right away. I found some interesting information that helped open my mind. Back in 1980, a prominent pediatrician named Barton Schmitt coined the term “fever phobia” to describe this desire of many parents to bring down fevers in their children as quickly as possible. So much time has passed since Schmitt’s phrase caught on but fever phobia is still alive and well.
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics showed that:
- 91 percent of parents surveyed thought that a fever can cause harmful effects
- 56 percent of caregivers very worried about the potential harm of fevers.
- 89 percent of parents gave their children fever reducers before temperatures reached 102 degrees.
It is often not needed and may not even be the best choice to be too quick to rush for the medicine cabinet when your child has a fever.
“Nothing bad is going to happen if you don’t treat the fever,” says Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She’s also author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year (Windsor Peak).
A fever simply indicates that your child is fighting off some kind of infection, such as a simple cold, the flu, or an ear infection. It is not an illness in itself. A fever may even do some good in fact. A study published in the February 2004 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that children who ran a fever during their first year were less likely to develop allergies later in childhood than children who did not have fever.
Interestingly enough, a fever can help your child’s body fight off infection according to the AAP. A lot of illness-causing microbes thrive at the body’s normal temperature. A fever raises the temperature beyond which certain microbes need to reproduce. Also fevers throw your child’s immune system into high gear, causing the rapid production of bug-clobbering white blood cells. A small but growing body of research shows that letting a fever run its course may reduce the length and severity of such illnesses as colds and flu.
As for the concern among parents that fevers can have harmful effects…these instances are caused only by exceptional circumstances, like central nervous system disorders or heat stroke. The brain has an internal regulatory mechanism that prevents fevers caused by infections from getting higher than 105 or 106 degrees. Body temperature must get above 108 degrees to cause damage.
What is Colic?
Colic is a natural and common problem that occurs in early infancy and effects 1 out of 5 babies. We are all familiar with the numerous reasons a baby cries such as sleep, hunger, temperature or diaper change etc. however, sometimes babies sometimes become un-consolable no matter how much care they receive. If this is a regular occurrence, your baby may have colic. Colic is most commonly known to appear during the first 4 months of babies life and even though it may seem like baby is screaming as loud as they can, colic is proven a non-dangerous problem and has no long term effects on babies feeding and growth.
Many parents may feel distressed and perhaps even feel like a failure because they cant help baby, but colic is natural and no ties to bad parenting at all. Colic is often a new mother first challenge that is relatively short lived.
How can a new mother diagnose colic?
The following symptoms appear in an otherwise happy healthy baby:
- Intense crying – Baby cries intensely and furiously, and there is not much you can do to comfort him/her. The baby’s face will become red and flushed and crying episodes tend to occur at the same time every day – generally during the late afternoon or evening. Episodes may last from a few minutes to much longer periods. Crying usually starts suddenly and for no apparent reason.
- Baby’s posture – Baby’s fists may be clenched, tensed abdominal muscles, knees drawn up, and the back arched.
- Sleeping – Sleep may be irregular and interrupted with episodes of crying.
- Feeding – feeding may also be interrupted and irregular with episodes of intense crying. However, the amount the baby feeds each day is not reduced.
- Gas – During episodes of crying, baby may have a gassy or noisy tummy.
- Varying intensities – With some babies symptoms are mild and the baby may only experience periods of restlessness.
Nobody really knows what causes colic in babies even though experts suggest it may be due to indigestion or gas. Milk allergies and lactose intolerance have similar symptoms to those of colic but these theories are not supported by any evidence.
How to treat colic babies
While there are limited options for treatment, many mothers turn to a natural homeopathic remedy called Colic Calm. Colic calm has helped me out many times with liliahna, especially when we first brought her home. Since colic calm is all natural, I feel safe giving it to baby whenever she needs extra gas relief after burping and it has bailed me out of trouble many times. Gas, colic and reflux stand no chance against the healing properties of Colic Calm Gripe Water. Used successfully by over 250,000+ relieved parents and babies everywhere.