FEVER 101: MASTERED, BUT WHAT’S WITH THE SPOTS?
You’ve read the fever handout and are now feeling pretty confident about using homeopathy for fever: you get through the sleepless nights and midnight temperature spike without having to resort to pain medication. Whew! Tired from being up in the night with your feverish child, you waken yet again because you can hear them crying. What now? You stumble to their room to comfort them with a kiss and a cuddle when, whoa! Spots…you see spots! Is it chicken pox? Is it measles? Is it German measles? Which one is it, and how to know?
Well…it could be any number of spotty fevers (the medical term is ‘eruptive fevers’), but the one I’m going to tell you about today is called hand, foot and mouth disease (which is not to be mistaken for hoof and mouth disease of animals!).
I first learned of this particular spotty fever in 2004, and I learned so much that I wrote an article for the National Center for Homeopathy. Do check out their website address in the Resources section below – you will find all kinds of amazing free resources. You might also want to consider subscribing to their magazine, Homeopathy Today, which has lots of great information on how to use homeopathy for common complaints.
WHAT IS HFM?
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFM) starts with a fever and shortly after, the spots appear. The spots are more like blisters and can show up on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands, and/or inside the mouth and back of the throat. The blisters in the mouth can be very painful, especially when your little one is trying to swallow or eat.
A child also might:
- develop fever, muscle aches, or other flu-like symptoms.
- become irritable or sleep more than usual.
- begin drooling (due to painful swallowing).
- gravitate toward cold fluids.
HFM is highly contagious and is spread through contact with poop, saliva, snotty noses, or even from the fluid in the blisters after they pop. Even after kids get better, they can still spread the virus in their stool. So hand washing is the best prevention! And if HFM is making the rounds in your playgroup, day home, daycare or school, it’s a good time to wash down the toys with your favorite effective disinfectant.
A CASE STUDY of HFM
In this article I wrote in 2004, you can read about the homeopathic remedy that helped support a nursing child’s bout of HFM. As illustrated in this particular situation, the mom was able to find a combination homeopathic remedy that helped a little bit, but in the end, it was a single homeopathic remedy called Antimonium tart that turned the child’s health around.
There are other homeopathic remedies besides Antimonium tart and combination remedies that can help a child heal from HFM. A quick glance at the common symptoms a child might have, such as muscle aches and drooling, and you could consider a remedy like Mercurius solubis (also known as Merc sol).
- Mouth sores can be very severe, and the person is very sensitive to hot and cold.
- May have a fever before getting the blisters and may alternate between getting too hot with perspiration and becoming chilled at night; becoming too hot or too cold makes the person worse in general.
- Blisters tend to be more painful at night.
- One of the characteristic symptoms of Mercurius is the tendency to drool or to have an excess of saliva in the mouth.
- The breath may be quite offensive with pus visible on the tonsils or elsewhere in the mouth.
The Kids Health website is one of the most reliable resources I turn to for descriptions of childhood illnesses. They have great illustrations and audio for visually impaired. Even though the information is conventional medical treatment, they do a great job of listing the signs/symptoms and common-sense measures you can take with sick kids.
National Center for Homeopathy is another great family resource on how to help heal with homeopathy.