Dr. Robert Mendelsohn's info re: childhood fevers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-20-2008, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, everyone. I just read How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD. It was published in 1984 and some of the information might be outdated, so I wanted to check something with the fine minds here on MDC.

In Chapter 7, "Fevers: Your Body's Defense against Disease" (pp 73-88), he states that "Untreated fevers caused by viral and bacterial infections do not rise inexorably and will not exceed 105 degrees...Fevers produced by viral or bacterial infections will not cause brain damage or permanent physical harm...Your child's cold, influenza, or any other infection will not produce a fever that exceeds 106 degrees, and below that level the fever will not produce any lasting harm."

Is this true? He then goes on to explain that febrile seizures aren't caused by high temperatures, but by a rapid rise from normal temperature to fever, and that febrile convulsions, while scary, aren't dangerous in the long run. (He does clarify that fevers caused by poisoning or heatstroke can exceed 106 degrees and can be very dangerous, even lethal.)

This is contrary to everything anyone has ever told me about fever, but the book is so salty and full of awesome common sense wisdom that I want to believe him. I know letting a fever run its course is a great way to allow the human body to successfully and permanently fight infection, but is it really true that if your child is running a 105-degree fever, you don't need to rush to the ER or at least try to bring it down?

What do you think?

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#2 of 4 Old 10-20-2008, 04:43 PM
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Yes, I agree with this. However, I certainly wouldn't do *nothing* for a high fever - just not tylenol or something. Natural Family Living is a fabulous book and has lots of good ideas for helping the body to lower its temp naturally while not interfering with the work the fever is doing.

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#3 of 4 Old 10-20-2008, 06:59 PM
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I agree 100%. We don't treat fevers, however I do treat discomfort. I don't generally use much beyond homeopathy because it's just so effective for our family. I wouldn't worry about a high fever unless the child is really uncomfortable and then I would give the appropriate remedy.
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#4 of 4 Old 10-21-2008, 01:55 AM
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Goodness, yes! And how I wish this was accepted at the time. My poor dh was put on phenobarbital as a child because of his febrile seizures (that his parents were told to treat by putting him in cold water with ice.

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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