Updated: May 16, 2020
Fever is totally normal with illness and is the body's way of healing the body. It should not be suppressed as that slows healing by stopping the action of fever which is the body’s natural response to sending the little healing factors. I would reserve use of ibuprofen (not Tylenol-longer story there) for when they are miserable and you can’t get them comfortable by other means. Ibuprofen is not recommended under 6 months of age. Don’t even put Tylenol in your house.
Reasons to worry about fever where you should go to the ER:
Fever in an infant under 2 months of age. Fever is 100.4 rectally
Fever with mental status changes. Most kids get sleepy with fever and want to sleep more but this refers to strange behavior or strange eye or limb movements.
Fever with seizure- febrile seizures alone are not dangerous generally but the first time, you need to be checked out and to make a plan with a doctor.
Fever over 105
Fever with purple spots like blood under the skin. Rashes plus fever is common. Don't worry too much
Natural ways to bring down fever without suppressing healing mechanisms are:
Wet sock trick
Essential oils- Lavender to feet of infants, can use peppermint oil diluted to feet of kids over 1, Can also use Frankincense to feet for any age, diluted with any oil
Very warm to hot bath depending on age (safe temps only) with epsom salt and apple cider vinegar - I like this before doing the wet sock trick to warm the feet.
Febrile seizures- You can also get Calcium Lactate , especially if you are concerned about febrile seizures which is an ionizable source. Just dissolve 2-4 tablets in filtered water and drink in water or juice. There is no lactose in this.
In general, there is no need to come in to see the doctor right away for fevers. Most illnesses are viruses that run the course. Even ear infections often resolve themselves. I will write another post on ear infections so you can try these things before coming in. Here is an awesome post on febrile seizures. It was so good that there is no need to write it any other way by Ashley Everly
A great resource is the AAP symptom checker that gives advice on when to call and common measures to follow.
https://www.healthychildren.org/english/tips-tools/symptom-checker/Pages/default.aspx Article About avoiding fever reduction in sepsis to improve mortality. https://www.escavo.com/2012/12/23/should-fever-reduced-septic-patients/ Effects of fever versus low body temp on mortality https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312347826_Fever_Is_Associated_with_Reduced_Hypothermia_with_Increased_Mortality_in_Septic_Patients_A_Meta-Analysis_of_Clinical_Trials In several other animal models, administration of antipyretic agents have been associated with reduce survival [26–29] during bacterial infections. https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/31/Supplement_5/S234/335070
Fever is an important mechanism of intrinsic resistance against infectious disease.
A variety of studies point to a potential detrimental effect of temperature lowering in infectious disorders, but high-quality evidence from randomised controlled trials is lacking.