While I appreciate the sentiment behind this post (and certainly don't intend to criticize the OP for seeking conventional medical treatment for a baby with pneumonia), I have to disagree strongly with the idea that's implied, i.e., that alternative medicine is somehow a lightweight option that's ineffective or inappropriate for truly serious problems. Having just read through this thread for the first time, I've noticed that "alternatives" have generally been presented in a very limited way. For instance, there have been references to things like Hyland's teething tablets, vitamin C, or just doing nothing and hoping for the best. To me, all of these would fall in the category of "home remedies." They may be helpful in many cases, but they're basically the alternative version of a dab of neosporin, an aspirin tablet, or some other simple and not-always-effective allopathic remedy. If you've tried them, and your child is still getting sicker and sicker, you clearly need to find something more effective, ASAP.
On the other hand, if we compare apples to apples... i.e., diagnosis and treatment by a skilled MD, vs. diagnosis and treatment by a skilled practitioner of an established alternative medical discipline
... then the alternative approach is IMO a valid one, whether things are going "well" or "badly." Of course, there are some situations that are beyond the scope of these disciplines; nobody is going to be able to use homeopathy to re-attach a severed leg, or acupuncture to correct a congenital heart defect. But this is due to the type of ailment, not to its severity. For example, those who strongly support the homeopathic approach would rather choose an expert homeopath than an expert MD to treat an infection, even (or perhaps especially) if it were a potentially dangerous one. (Needless to say, it can be hard to find a real expert in any healing profession... which is why we would do well to form relationships with one or more trusted practitioners, before an emergency happens. Even if they can't solve the problem, they'll likely be able to refer us to someone who can.)
It seems as if a strong preference for alternative medical care -- even when our children are actually sick
-- is somewhat of a minority view on this thread, and perhaps isn't even considered "respectable" by some people.
That comes as a surprise, especially given the forum header:Health and Healing is a forum for discussion that reaches beyond mainstream health care norms. It embraces the wide variety of natural and alternative healing modalities as well as necessary conventional medical care. To further this aim please use the term "health care practitioner" rather than "doctor" to embrace the reality that there are other professionals out there to consult for health care needs.
Anyway, just to add my 2 cents on the topic of medicating a feverish child: I'll do it on occasion (usually with ibuprofen), if he or she seems really miserable and nothing else is helping. I don't medicate for the fever itself, though I probably would if it stayed at 105 for a significant length of time. In that case, the medication would be my last step before going to the ER -- as it's the first thing they're going to ask about when you get there, anyway. And this does make sense, from a diagnostic perspective. A fever of 105 that's reducible to 101 with medication, is a very different beast from a fever that's still at 105 after
It's also important to note that a fever "breaking" isn't the same thing as a fever going down due to antipyretics. When a fever is lowered artificially, the patient might seem somewhat relieved, but the illness itself is just as strong as ever. As a PP said, Tylenol can certainly make people more comfortable, but it doesn't cure anything.
When a fever breaks on its own, it's a dramatic change: the patient is immediately, noticeably better; and recovery is generally very rapid afterward. It's obvious what's happening, even without a thermometer. I've read about this many times in older books, but have only personally experienced it once, in the small hours of the morning after my son had been treated homeopathically for his croup. It was amazing to see, though also kind of scary. After the remedy, his fever (which had been moderate) started going up and up... and then crossed 105, and then... just as I was wondering if I should give him the Advil, or start packing up to go to the hospital... POOF, it was all over. His breathing went back to normal, his face relaxed and lost its flushed look, and he fell into a deep, restful sleep. Just like the old-time books said. And he hasn't had croup since.