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99 Capacities Series – Capacity #25: Correctly Diagnose and Treat High Fevers

The twenty-fifth capacity that I introduce in my eBook is that you must correctly treat and diagnose high fevers. In it I state that:

You must “correctly diagnose and treat high fevers (especially in infants and children). Include a basic digital thermometer (with disposable sleeves) for starters. OTC medications, including Children’s Tylenol (or something similar) if you have children may be appropriate for reducing fevers. It may be prudent to be aware of other methods for reducing high body temperatures besides medications.”

Let me preface this post with: I AM NOT A DOCTOR! This should not be considered medical advice at all. Consult your doctor or health care provide for specific treatments for fevers whenever possible. It’s just the SMART thing to do!!!!

Fever Diagnosis

Now, fevers are usually a good thing and are the body’s way of combating viruses and bacteria. With that philosophy in mind, low to mild fevers are good and should probably be left alone. According to Medicinenet.com, “Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal 98.6 F (37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F.” High fevers, on the other hand, are a different story. Of course, as most any parent knows, the back of your hand works fairly well in a pinch but is no substitute for an accurate thermometer.

Depending on who you talk to and depending on the person involved (a normal adult versus a newborn baby, for example) as well as any medical conditions involved (such as a person on an immunosuppressant drug) the cause for concern with regards to fever temperature varies widely. That is, when should one worry about a fever? I won’t get into that discussion, however, I will say that you should be able to adequately monitor a fever so that you are better able to decide what to do about it. A trusty digital thermometer or two along with dozens–if not hundreds–of disposable sleeves (to prevent disease transmission to others) will serve you well for years. It would also behoove you to know that there are temperature variances depending on where it is taken, that is, from the mouth, ear, armpit, or anus.

Fever Treatments

Treating a fever is another ballgame altogether. Usually, the most common form of treatment for high fevers is to use something like Ibuprofen or Tylenol (but not Aspirin in children) to help bring it down. This is effective in most cases but may not be available or enough in some. Other ways to reduce a fever may include:

  • encouraging consumption of cool fluids (especially those with electrolytes)
  • a lukewarm bath (or sponge bath) but NOT a cold bath
  • cold compress around the forehead, groin, and armpits (or cool towels)
  • herbal remedies

According to Nativeremedies.com:

“Using herbal and homeopathic remedies is one method of naturally reducing a child’s fever gently and effectively without the risks often associated with over-the-counter medications. Herbal ingredients such as Yarrow and Meadowsweet have long histories of use in reducing fevers and relieving a number of symptoms that generally accompany a fever.

Another beneficial herb that can be used to help a feverish child is Passiflora incarnate which helps to ease irritability, anxiety and pain, while promoting slumber. As a fever is generally caused by an underlying illness or infection, it is also useful to explore herbal ingredients that work to support the immune system such as Echinacea purpurea and Astragalus membranaceous.”

Other ideas I’ve come across from Earthclinic.com include:

  • Egg whites – “Soak 2 cloths or handkerchiefs in egg whites and put on the soles of the feet (cover with socks). The egg whites instantaneously start to draw the temperature DOWN from the brain (where it is dangerous) to the feet (where it can do no damage). After that incident my mom used this method successfully every time I had high temp. If no eggs are on hand, chopped onion or chopped potato can be applied to feet instead, although egg whites are the fastest method.” I should point out that we have used a similar method to this several times in the past except that we soaked a pair of socks in water, froze them for several minutes, put them on the feet and then covered the freezing socks with dry socks for the night; however, this was a treatment to reduce congestion and mucous problems, not for fevers.
  • Potatoes in socks – “Growing up, my parents always used potatoes in our socks for fevers. This past year, I had a fever of 102 that wouldn’t drop after 2 days. I put potatoes in the fridge for 30 minutes, then sliced them, put them in my socks and started a movie. By the end of the movie my temperature had dropped to 99.9 and the potatoes were baked! After this treatment, the fever did not rise again. Cheap and healthy cure!”

…apparently placing food in socks is the way to go! :)

Anyway, the point is that there are a variety of possible ways to reduce a high fever. The first step, though, is to be able to properly diagnose it. The final step is to know what you’re going to do about it.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series detailing the ideas from my free eBook, The 99 Capacities You MUST Acquire BEFORE Disaster Strikes You!, which you may freely download here.

4 comments to 99 Capacities Series – Capacity #25: Correctly Diagnose and Treat High Fevers

  • T.R.

    My sweety grew up in the former Soviet Union , and the ” free ” medical care was not that great , so they had a very long list of home herbal remedies . Some Im reluctant to try unless I absolutely had to lol . I had a sore ankle one time and she told me to put honey on it with a cabbage leaf placed over the honey , then put a plastic bag over to keep the mess down when the honey got warm ……….did I try it ? NO! It may work but uhhhhhh , for now I’ll pop a pill thank you .

    • My wife has a few remedies like that too. I think you just REALLY want the problem to go away when you have to do stuff like that so your body takes care of it. :)

  • Tony

    If you have ever been outdoors in winter and had damp/wet feet, even if dressed well, you feel cold. I would try the simple cool wet sock treatment first. Same concept plus it is less messy and easily renewed by simply soaking in cool water.