How to Manage Your Child’s Fever at Home

Written by Megan on June 13th, 2014

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Alternative Medicine, Holistic Health

How to Manage Your Child's Fever at Home - Natural Parents Network

We parents have all been there, that moment when our child has their first sickness, accompanied by the dreaded first fever. If you’re like most parents you probably freaked out, called the doctor, and got a bag packed to rush your child to the emergency room. You were worried about your baby . . . and rightly so. There’s nothing like a fever to remind you that some things are just beyond a Mama’s control.

For decades we’ve been told that fevers are bad and were given medications to tackle them head on. Children were given antibiotics – “just in case,” pain relievers, and over-the-counter fever reducers. Temperatures over 99 degrees were enough to warrant a trip to the hospital and mothers were panicked when a child (because of a fever) skipped a meal. Thankfully, these “remedies” are losing favor.

While the natural medicine community has long recognized the benefits of a good fever, mainstream medicine has slowly caught up. Scientific evidence supports the idea that fevers serve a vital role in the development of the immune system and a child’s healing process. Unfortunately, with a new stance comes uncertainty in how best to address a fever. Years of fear-based approaches have left doctors skeptical and parents uncertain.

What To Do If Your Child Gets a Fever

As a mama who just happens to be a traditionally trained Naturopath (who is also married to a Physician) I can sympathize with the parent who doesn’t know what to do or where to turn when their child is sick. Here is a quick guide for managing your child’s fever at home:

  1. A fever is a good thing; if your child has a fever of 102 degrees or below, leave it alone. The body heats up to kill viruses and bacteria that cannot survive in higher temperatures. This healing process cannot be replicated via medication.
  2. If your child is not eating, don’t panic. When your child is sick, their body directs all energy towards the intruder and healing process. It’s okay for your child to skip a few meals, as long as they are remaining hydrated. If you’re still worried, offer foods like rice, unsweetened applesauce, smoothies, and broth.
  3. If the child’s fever gets too high, draw a lukewarm bath. Add a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil and repeat every few hours as needed. The purpose of the bath is not to break the fever but to allow the fever to function within a safer range. (Read The Basics of Essential Oils for Children for some safety tips.)
  4. To manage symptoms, apply essential oils, nurse, swaddle, and cuddle. There is no medication you can give a child that replaces the warm healing touch of a mother.
  5. If your child is dehydrated, make a glass of water; add lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and a few teaspoons of honey. This is nature’s “Gatorade.” This drink will re-hydrate and replenish electrolytes without the toxins, additives, and high fructose corn syrup found in commercial alternatives.
  6. Keep your child warm (wrapped in a blanket), but do not add layers and overheat.
  7. If your child’s fever lasts longer than 3-5 days and luke-warm baths are unsuccessful, the child is not drinking, eating, making tears, is inconsolably crying, or is not making wet diapers, call your doctor. In some rare instances, a trip to the emergency room might be warranted.

Although all parents worry when their child gets a fever, you can take comfort in knowing it’s not a villain to be feared. Fevers are natural, normal, and are a good response to a bad invader. Let the fever run its course and manage the symptoms without unnecessary medications and from the comfort of your own home.

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About The Author: Megan

My NPN Posts

Megan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, a Juris Doctor, and is a Naturopath, Natural Health Educator, writer, and stay at home Mama. She blogs at, a site dedicated to teaching, encouraging, and empowering others to live, love, eat, serve, and raise their babes in unhindered, natural, and wholesome ways. You can also follow Megan on Facebook.


Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, are nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment.

6 Responses to How to Manage Your Child’s Fever at Home

  1. Life Breath Present  

    We believe in fevers around here, too. Last week, though, when Baby Boy had a slight fever I started to feel the pull to mainstream. I stuck with it…and it turned out Baby Boy must be starting to teethe again – oui!

    • Megan Heimer

      Teething is no fun! Children release histamines when they are teething that can give a virus direct access to the brain. Maybe the body heats up to create an environment that is too hot for a virus to thrive. 🙂
      Hope your little guy feels better!

  2. Richard Johnson

    Excellent article! We had our grandson stay with us for the first year of his life. He did NOT get any vaccines. Nor does he do “well” checkups. The couple of times in 17 months of his life when he did see a physician, the comments were “this is the healthiest baby I’ve seen. What are you doing?” I am educated in medical microbiology and did research into vaccines when I was in college during the Jurassic Period (1975). That research is precisely why I eschew vaccines for myself and my grandson. Natural immunity is different from artificial immunity!!! Anyway, getting back to Dallas, he finally contracted a virus and developed a fever. Since the mother and child were with us, I was able to calmly explain the function of fevers and we did nothing but monitor him. I said as long as he is alert, we are good. The baby fat is there to serve them when they can’t eat. You are right on the button about the body shutting down appetite to focus the resources on the infection. Most pathogens don’t do well in elevated temperatures. The elevated temperature is PART OF THE IMMUNE RESPONSE. By the way, he loves the outdoors (dirt) and he has placed about half the planet into his mouth. I never worry. I just smile and say to myself, “he’s all boy”. I did the same thing when I was his age and I do not get sick very often myself. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months, and I am very impressed! Keep it up!!


    • Megan

      Wow Richard! Thanks for the insight and the complements on my blog. It’s so neat to have your perspective and I completely agree with it. The body has some amazing healing capabilities! Dallas sounds like such a healthy kid. I am glad you were there to explain the importance of a fever. The first fever can make a Mama nervous! 🙂

      • Susan E

        Awesome words Richard. I also read about vaccines after my friends who didn’t vaccinate. I have been reading, watching, researching, comparing since the early 90’s and so when we had children, we knew that we would never vaccinated. So thankful for that.

  3. Maria  

    I just wanted to share my concerns with using peppermint essential oil around children under 6. There’s a possibility of it causing breathing difficulties. Robert Tisserand is said to be the authority on Essential Oil Safety. Lea, a certified aromatherapist follows his guidelines and has a great blog.