Oh, Those Scary Fevers

By Dr. Tim

All right, I admit it; our family is a bit odd. We don’t medicate our kids. We never have seen the need to. I think it started with my parents being Amish and Mennonite, and continued on with me becoming a chiropractor. The last time my son had a fever, and was crying at night, my wife looked at me and said, “Boy, it would so easy to give in and not trust God’s process.”

But, current scientific circles are now saying that fever is a good thing. It is one of the bodies’ primary defenses against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. It helps the white blood cells (the good guys) move faster, and paralyzes the foreign invaders (the bad guys). According to recent information from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), the only time a fever could possibly be harmful is with people with severe heart or lung diseases, or if it gets about 42ºC (107.6ºF) (Wow, I had to read that one twice!) The W.H.O. now also says that febrile seizures are not associated with brain damage. (We’ve all heard that before.) They are common between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, and a very scary sight for parents, although harmless.

Then why are parents so afraid of fevers? Even though our scientific view of fever has changed in recent years, the public outlook for the most part has stayed the same. In the June 2001 issue of the journal entitled Pediatrics, Dr. Michael Crocetti of John’s Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, describes parents misconceptions by stating: “This fever fear may result in parents over-medicating their children. These types of fears are most likely passed down from generation to generation.” Paula Elbirt, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York says: “Fever is not a disease, it’s a signal that the body is working. Taking away a fever may even hamper the induction of the immune system to do its job.”

These words from medical profession strongly mirror what the chiropractic community has been saying for years; that is, the next time you or your child develops a fever, try to look at it as your best friend. Sure it hurts, and it’s very scary, but it’s time we developed faith in this defense mechanism that God created for our bodies. Lets live in faith, not fear.