Home remedies for common childhood symptoms (part 1)

Jun 9, 2017,

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So, let’s talk about those times when your child is cranky and uncomfortable because of a symptom or the other and it’s too far into the night to reach a doctor. Having a knowledge of some home remedies for common childhood symptoms helps you to give the child some comfort before getting medical intervention. Symptoms like fever, diarrhea and nasal blockage can be burdensome to both the child and the caregiver.

Home remedies for fever

Fever (high body temperature – usually >38.00C) in children can be caused by various childhood diseases ranging from infections (which could be bacterial or viral in origin) to malaria. The fever would usually resolve once the underlying cause has been treated. A poorly managed fever may predispose a child to febrile convulsions. However, here’s what you can do before reaching a doctor:

​​image 7.jpg - Adequate water intake/regular breastfeeding – fever increases conduction of heat and evaporation of water vapor through the skin. In addition, reduced intake coupled with symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting can all lead to dehydration. You should ensure that the child is regularly breastfeeding or taking frequent oral sips to keep them hydrated

  •  - Minimal clothing/wrapping – Depending on the cause of your child’s fever, they may have associated chills (shivering) and request to be covered up. Otherwise, it may just be a high body temperature without chills. Ensure to leave just a minimal clothing on.
  • -  Tepid Sponging – there has been various research into the efficacy of tepid sponging in bringing down fever in children. Some researchers concluded that tepid sponging helps to bring down the temperature in the first 30mins, and when combined with administration of an antipyretic, it becomes more effective. Get a lukewarm water (day-time tap water) and a napkin to sponge the child from the face down
  •  - Use of an antipyretic like paracetamol – Anti-pyretic are drugs that help to reduce fever in children. Keep in mind that they do not treat the underlying cause so the fever may recur. The goal of using an antipyretic is to give a temporary relief. Anti-pyretic is not a cure for fever. You should always check the leaflet in the drug pack to know the appropriate dosage for your child.

If your child’s fever persists, then you need to see a doctor to determine the cause of the fever. Deciding to buy over-the-counter malaria drug (or antibiotic) without consulting with a doctor who can help guide you, and recommend appropriate laboratory test, is wrong. Not all childhood fever is caused by malaria (or even a bacterial Infection).

You can look out for our next post on Home remedies for diarrhea and nasal blockage.


Efficacy of tepid sponging versus paracetamol in reducing the temperature in febrile children. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9425385

Antipyretics in children. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11876124


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