Your child has just been diagnosed as having Chicken Pox or even German Measles or Mumps (they are still around in spite of vaccinations) and your doctor has prescribed Tylenol (acetaminophen) for the fever. This may be their first real illness apart from the odd minor cough or cold and you don’t know how you are going to cope. Illness can be scary, especially for new parents. There is a fear of not being in control, of not knowing what is happening, of something bad happening and of it costing time and/or moneyor both. These fears are doubled when our children, especially our new babies, are sick. The vulnerability of a small, sick child really pulls at our heart strings and makes you want to do something to take the pain away.
Childhood illnesses are not all bad. Homeopaths believe that these illnesses give the immune system an opportunity to develop strength and resistance, especially to inherited weaknesses. Children who have successfully come through a childhood illness are seen to be stronger afterwards and often have a growth spurt, either physically and/or mentally and emotionally! My son, Daniel, grew a whole inch in the month after he had measles, and his school remarked on how much better he was doing with his class work!
I remember a patient (I shall call Susan) who called me late one evening in a terrible state. Her one year old son (David) had chicken pox. He also had a runny nose, a cough and a fever. This was his first illness and his first fever. Susan was awash with fear and panic. She hadn’t wanted to bother me as David had seemed to be coping quite well but in the last few hours his fever had risen (to 101°F), he hadn't eaten his dinner and he seemed unwell in himself.
Susan needed some basic information about childhood illnesses and feversand a big dollop of reassurance. I explained that 101°F was a fairly low grade fever and that it was perfectly normal for a fever to rise in the evening, and for a feverish child to go off his food. It was then that she started to cry and said "But his skin is a funny color, it isn’t normal. It is sort of bluish, I am frightened that there is something terribly wrong." I found out that she had taken all his clothes off and had a fan on him. In the middle of a British winter! I asked Susan to put her hand on his body and tell me what temperature his skin was. When she said it felt cold to the touch I realized that this baby had become chilled needed wrapping up. I explained how some people become cold with a fever and hate to be uncovered.