Do you always reach for the fever medication every time your child has a temperature? Do you treat mild fevers? Experts Warn Acetaminophen Overuse Can Lead To Serious Health Issues.
Treating your children’s mild fevers frequently with medications can actually be really bad for their health. According to recent research, the overuse of Acetaminophen (and other fever reducing medications), can have some pretty scary side effects.
As parents, we get really worried when our child has a fever. We tend to think of a fever as an illness, but fevers are actually good. On the contrary, Experts warn acetaminophen overuse can harm children.
Fevers are the body’s natural way of fighting illnesses.
It took my a long time to understand this concept. As a first time mom, I rushed to the medicine cabinet to give my son Tylenol every single time he had a fever. I didn’t take into consideration how mild the fever was, or if my son was not feeling well. All I thought was “I need to break the fever”.
This is a major problem according to health experts. Fever reducing medications are being given to children at the slightest hint of a fever or discomfort.
Fever is a symptom, not an illness in itself, reminds UK based pediatrician Helen Sammons, who insists a mild temperature most often does not need treatment. She advices parents not to rely too much on thermometers, and should instead look for symptoms of fever such as lack of thirst and lethargy, in which case it might be appropriate to try and bring the fever down.
A fever is an important part of the body’s defense mechanism.
How the child acts is more important than the fever. I know this now. If my kids are running a mild fever, and are feeling ok (eating, drinking and sleeping), I do not give them Tylenol or Ibuprofen. If the fever is high or they are feeling miserable, then I treat it.
Do You Treat Mild Fevers? Learn How Acetaminophen Overuse Can Harm Your Children
Alistair Sutcliffe, an expert, pediatrician, and professor of general pediatrics at University College London, explains:
“Parents are using Acetaminophen too permissively. They seem to fear fever as an illness, per se, which it is not. There is evidence that the excess usage of acetaminophen is associated with increased rates of liver damage and asthma, but less widely known, also even kidney and heart damage.”
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) weighed in too, and said parents needed to be better educated about when to give children acetaminophen, as far too many administer it to children in the wrong way or when they are not even necessary.
One problem, according to pharmacist and spokesperson for the RPS, Steve Tomlin, is that children are being given the painkiller at high doses and that one care setting (parents or grandparents) are not being made aware of that has already been given, and administer medicine again too soon.
“You only need two or three days giving an extra dose or two above what is recommended, and it is not such a safe drug and can start hitting the liver,” Tomlin explains.
Studies have also found that fever reducing medications actually suppress the production of antibodies, thus resulting in the illness lasting for up to 50% longer than it should.
The best course of action regarding fever treatment may be to seek out natural remedies. A strong immune system will play an important role as well. Please see my 7 Natural Remedies That Will Get You Through Cold And Flu Season post. My favorite natural remedy for colds is taking a Detox Bath. In my experience it REALLY WORKS!
When your child is running a fever, make sure she gets plenty of rest and liquids. Avoid sugary liquids and processed foods as these can significantly suppress the immune systems’ ability to fight the infection.
How quick are you to give your children medicine? Do you treat mild fevers with pain and fever reducing medications? I would love to hear your stories and suggestions.
If you are interested in reading more about my blog, please take a look at my latest articles. I am a mom blogger who loves to share creative and healthy fun food ideas, family activities, natural remedies, parenting advice, and tips for living a healthy lifestyle.
This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.