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HOMEOPATHY & CHILDREN: FEVER & EAR INFECTION

Fever is a defence mechanism — it is the body’s ‘firewall’ that gears itself to fight infections. Homeopathy suggests that fever states in childhood help to enhance a child’s defence mechanism. Fever, according to homeopathic tenets, ‘ups’ our immune defences to fight, or ward off, infectious diseases in adulthood.

Homeopathy treats fever with mild, natural products that are free from side-effects. What homeopathic medicines for fevers actually do is, in effect, boost the child’s immune mechanism, safely, and thus enable the body’s inner workings to deal with the invading, or prowling, organisms — effectively.

Homeopathic remedies are easily administered to children. They help them bounce back to health, safely and quickly. Children love them — sweet, sugar pills.

There are dozens of effective homeopathic remedies for fever states. However, the important point is the use of an appropriate homeopathic remedy, for a given fever state, depends upon the characteristic signs and symptoms the child presents with. No two children may have the same set of symptoms, even when the illness is the same by name.

It is, therefore, imperative for parents, given the subtle nature of fever states in children, to seek the advice and guidance of a professional homeopath — to treat fevers appropriately and also prevent them from going out of control.

SELF-HELP

  • A rise in body temperature above 98.4°F indicates that the body is fighting infection
  • If the child has high fever, remove the child’s clothes. Sponge them all over with tepid water. Open the windows, or use a fan to cool the air
  • Give plenty of water and oral rehydration fluids
  • If the child’s temperature rises above 102°F, or if there is a history of fever convulsions [seizures, induced by high fever], seek your doctor’s advice, promptly
  • When the child suffers a fever-triggered convulsion — irregular breathing and limb movements, rolling of eyes, or loss of consciousness — bring down the child’s temperature by sponging. Consult your doctor, without delay
  • If the child is unconscious for more than five minutes, or complains of a severe headache, nausea and vomiting, unusual drowsiness, oversensitivity to light, a stiff neck and skin rash, seek professional medical/hospital advice immediately.

EAR INFECTION

This is one childhood illness that compels parents to see their doctor, promptly.

It is common for most children to experience at least one ear infection each year. In some children, there may be four or more such episodes. The earlier the treatment is instituted, the quicker the healing effect.

A majority of ear infections are triggered by viruses or bacteria, especially in day care, school, or the swimming pool. Other triggers include siblings with ear infection, exposure to smoke, formula feeding and so on. Research suggests that children with certain health issues, such as Down’s syndrome, are at increased risk of ear infection.

Symptoms may appear over a few hours, or they may be gradual. Ear pain is the most distinctive symptom. Younger children may not report of pain as much as older children do. Some children may present with fever. In severe cases of infection, the ear drum may rupture.

When ear infection is not treated appropriately, it may sometimes lead to sepsis and meningitis [brain fever], among other problems.

Young children are more likely to show outward signs of the illness; their health assessment is much easier than that of infants. Infants are less likely to show obvious signs of ear infection.

Earaches can also occur as a result of wax build-up in the ear, or infection of the outer, inner, and the middle ear — following a cold infection. They may get worse as a result of barotrauma  [air travel], or cold infection in the ear tube. Other causes include infections in the outer ear, following ear piercing, or drastic, sudden changes in weather, or temperature.

Homeopathy treats not just the earache, or infection, but the child with the problem. In simple terms, it treats the child as a whole. Every child with ear infection ought to have certain physical and emotional symptoms. They also have a certain type of personality, feelings, likes and dislikes. A suitable homeopathic remedy is chosen, based on these findings. For homeopathic medicines for ear infection to work, they have to correctly match the child’s illness-picture.

A clinical study, conducted in Europe, involving children suffering from acute ear infection reported a positive treatment effect from homeopathy when compared with placebo [dummy pill]. There were fewer treatment failures in the group receiving homeopathy. Daily diary scores also showed a significant decrease in ear symptoms after treatment in favour of homeopathy.

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