As a mom, there’s nothing more stressful than seeing your child with a fever. While fevers can be a normal and beneficial immune response to an infection, it can be so tough to watch your little one suffer. As a fellow crunchy mom, you’re probably looking for natural remedies that can help your child feel better without resorting to harmful medications. The great news is that there are plenty of natural remedies that can help reduce your child’s fever and boost their immune system. In this post, we’ll discuss 4 natural remedies for children’s fevers that you can easily implement at home, plus a few of my favorite books to keep on hand to guide you as you go!
Egg White Socks
Egg white socks? Yup, you read that correctly. The egg white sock remedy has been around for generations and we have found it to be one of the most effective ways to reduce a fever. To create this remedy, separate the egg white from the yolk and soak a clean pair of socks (or a paper towel) in the egg white. Then, ring the socks out and put them on your child’s feet. Be sure to cover the socks with another pair of dry socks to keep the egg white in place.
This remedy works by drawing the heat away from the head to the feet, cooling your child’s body temperature down in the process. You should see a difference in your child’s fever within an hour and can repeat the treatment as often as needed until the fever breaks.
Cold Sock Treatment
Another effective fever remedy for your little one is the cold sock treatment. This involves soaking a pair of cotton socks in cold water, wringing them out, and then placing them on your child’s feet. Cover these with a pair of dry wool socks to instigate a process called ‘reflexive vasoconstriction’. This process enhances circulation and helps your child’s body to naturally regulate its temperature. You can use this remedy in conjunction with the egg white sock remedy or on its own. Again, monitor your child’s fever often to ensure it’s decreasing, and remember, this treatment is a remedy to alleviate discomfort and gradually cool your child down. If their fever continues spiking, you may need to look at other options.
Detox baths are an all-time favorite in our house. I personally do these several times a week and we also do them before doing the cold sock treatment when our little one is sick. This is an amazing way to reduce a fever and help your child’s body recover quicker from an illness.
The key ingredients in a detox bath are magnesium flakes, baking soda, and food-grade hydrogen peroxide. You simply fill the tub with warm water (not too hot!), add a cup of magnesium flakes, half a cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide. The magnesium flakes are fantastic for boosting the immune system and encouraging rest, while baking soda and hydrogen peroxide work together to detoxify the body and reduce fever. After a 10-minute soak, your kiddo will be feeling better in no time, and they might even sleep a little better too! (Reminder: always keep hydrogen peroxide out of reach from kiddos and check with your doctor before using any of these natural remedies to be sure they are right for your family.)
Another necessity when you’re trying to monitor and treat your child’s fever is a thermometer, and we’ve found that this one is hands-down the easiest for quick temperature checks on our toddler. It reads instantly, is still very quiet if she’s asleep, and doesn’t require her to hold it in her mouth. You just push the bottom and it reads instantly and gives you a quick and quiet vibration to let you know it’s done.
Homeopathic Belladonna is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to reduce fevers and fight infections. Belladonna is made from a plant and works by helping your child’s body fight off the underlying infection that is causing the fever. This plant is toxic in certain amounts, so be sure to follow the label instructions carefully. You may also want to speak with your trusted medical professional before giving your child this remedy. You can find it in most health stores (and even on Amazon) and follow the instructions on the label. Typically, you dissolve a few pellets under your child’s tongue every hour until the fever breaks.
Peppermint essential oil has cooling properties that can help reduce your child’s fever. To use this remedy, mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and rub it onto the soles of your child’s feet. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a diffuser and let your child breathe in the oil. Many mamas, myself included, have even been known to put a drop neat (no carrier oil) into their child’s belly button and have seen the fever start to drop within minutes. Peppermint essential oil is generally considered safe for children, but you should always test a small area first to ensure your child doesn’t have a negative reaction and of course, keep it away from sensitive areas and mucous membranes.
Lavender essential oil is another fantastic, kid-friendly option for fever reduction. Revered for its calming properties, lavender also works as an effective fever reducer, especially when used in combination with peppermint oil. Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil and gently massage it onto your child’s back, chest, and the bottoms of their feet. This not only helps alleviate the fever but also encourages restful sleep.
Eucalyptus oil, known for its potent antiviral and antibacterial properties, can also be beneficial. For kids over age ten, a steamy bath infused with a few drops of eucalyptus oil does wonders in reducing fever and relieving congestion. Essential oils are potent, so keep in mind that they should be diluted before use. Note of caution: Children under the age of ten, especially infants, should not be exposed to eucalyptus oil as it can be highly toxic for underdeveloped nervous systems and accidental ingestion may cause seizures, breathing difficulties, or coma.
Lemon essential oil and Mountain Savory essential oil are other remarkable natural remedies that can be utilized to combat your little one’s fever. Lemon oil, with its high concentration of d-limonene, supports the immune system and promotes well-being. It also has calming properties that can ease a child’s discomfort during a fever. Just a few drops mixed with a carrier oil, and gently rubbed on the soles of the feet or along the spine can work wonders. Mountain Savory, on the other hand, is a powerful antimicrobial, helping to fight off infections that often accompany fevers. Using it in a diffuser can purify the air, creating an environment that supports recovery. As with all essential oils, be sure to dilute properly and avoid contact with the eyes and sensitive areas.
Keeping kids hydrated when they are sick can be a huge battle and a fever is one of those times that it’s the most important. There are two things that have worked well for us in keeping our girl hydrated while we monitor her fever.
“Pedialyte” popsicles are one of her favorites, and this is the brand that we use. It has all of the electrolytes she needs but without the weird dyes and as a bonus, she loves the flavor. Another drink that we can count on when she won’t touch anything else are these antioxidant fruit drinks which she absolutely loves.
The individual packets are super convenient and while you can keep some in the freezer, they’re helpful to have in the pantry when a fever comes on fast. These two things really came in handy the last time that she had a fever and refused to eat or drink anything, so now I make sure to always stash some in the freezer for the next time she is sick. It gives me peace of mind to know that they will be ready to use right away even if her fever comes on quickly.
While I consider myself a pretty “crunchy mom” and I believe that fevers are a healthy response to a hearty immune system, I always feel better knowing that I am prepared.
You can try some of these natural remedies for children’s fevers, but if your child’s fever is severe, you should always consult your doctor immediately, do not wait. There’s always a chance that you might need to administer medication. However, not all medications are created equally. Dye-free acetaminophen is a natural alternative to traditional medicine that can help reduce your child’s fever without harmful additives.
This is the dye-free acetaminophen that we always have on hand for our little one in the event that none of the above remedies have worked and her fever is going above 102-103 degrees. Always consult a doctor to find out what is best for your child and to see what the safest option is for your family.
Children’s Natural Remedy Books
Continuing on the topic of resources that can help you in your natural fever-fighting journey. Let’s talk about books. There are two books that I always reach for as soon as I realize my little one is sick and I need to figure out what to do next.
The first one is “Gentle Babies” by Debra Raybern. This gem is packed with practical advice about using essential oils during pregnancy and with little ones. It’s my go-to guide whenever I’m unsure about which oils are safe to use and how to use them effectively.
My second recommendation is “Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants” by Dana Ullman. This book is very thorough and easy to understand, making it fantastic for beginners in homeopathy. It provides clear instructions on which homeopathic remedies are suitable for a variety of common childhood ailments.
Both of these books are not only informative but also give you the confidence to navigate through your child’s health issues in a natural and holistic way.
The Bottom Line
When your child has a fever, it can be a stressful and scary time. However, there are plenty of natural remedies for children’s fevers that you can use to help them feel better without resorting to harmful medications. From egg white socks to homeopathic Belladonna, essential oils, and detox baths, these natural remedies can help your child feel better in no time. As always, be sure to consult your doctor before administering any new remedy to your child. Be sure to save this article for when you might need it in the future!