Dealing with Childhood Fevers

We have nothing to fear of fever but our own fear. Fever is a very sensible, rational activity of the body when it is faced with certain types of stress. It is the activation of the body’s garbage incinerator, burning up debris and toxic matter that are of no use to the body’s normal functioning. These may be bacteria, virus, breakdown products of the body’s metabolism, or other extraneous proteins in the bloodstream.

In the case of children, fever can serve a very good purpose. Children are continuously rebuilding and remodeling their bodies as they grow. As with any renovation project, debris results. In Anthroposophic medicine, the theory is that childhood illnesses are simply a way of disposing of unwanted cells and tissues. Hence, colds, skin eruptions and fevers are normal expressions of a normal process. Parents sometimes get excessively concerned. According to Jane Brody, in her New York Times column “Too Many Parents are Afflicted with Fever Phobia,” the pediatric literature points out that “undue attention to a child’s temperature and mishandling of fevers generate a great deal of unwarranted parental anxiety, avoidable medical complications, and countless calls and costly visits to doctors, clinics, and emergency rooms.”

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