Pip has yet another ear infection. The nursery the girls go to is currently rife with autumn bugs and the weather is just not cold enough to kill them so all the children that are there seem to permanently have a cold. Anyway Pip's temperature is 39.7. That's pretty high and she's not a happy bunny. Our GP's policy with ear infections is that if they are caused by a virus (ie if you know they've had a cold or cough just before the ear infection starts the chances are its a virus) then you have to wait 3 days when typically the temperatures should start to come down.
So we are in the 'wait it out' phase. Because she's distressed during the night I had to give her both Ibuprofen and Calpol to keep the temperature down. Again I know that we are supposed to minimise the application of both Ibuprofen and Calpol as the fever itself helps combat the infection. However she was VERY distressed so I relented and given her both. Now its daylight what I'm also trying to do is find a natural way to help reduce her fever. I agree with GP's in that we are sometimes way too quick to demand antibiotics to treat illness and its important to let the children's immune system develop and fight the infection itself rather than do all the work for them. Plus we don't want to contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Some of the best essential oils to reduce fever that are safe for children are Lemongrass and Teatree. These can be used either on the skin (diluted in Olive, Sweet Almond or any other carrier oil that you have to hand), or I actually prefer to add the drops to water and burn it in their diffuser. The twins have the Kharis diffuser in their bedroom and love to watch the colours changing. Its brilliant as it can be used as a light on its own or a light and a diffuser. Or if they don't want any light, it will still diffuse the oils. Plus its completely safe and shuts down automatically once all the water has been diffused. There is an intermittent mist function if you want to slow down the rate that the water is being diffused.
As well as using safe essential oils for children, it's very important that you use a low dilution rate. The recommended maximum dose is 1%. Don't forget that although essential oils are natural and very beneficial, they are still highly concentrated chemicals so you need to take care. So in a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil a 1% dilution would be approx 7 drops per 30ml of carrier oil - and you could just massage it in. With a diffuser you actually don't even need to use that much. Normally I would recommend 2-3 drops in a diffuser for children under 5 and only 1 drop for babies. Also I would diffuse for only 15 minutes at a time. However because of Pippa's temperature I used I used 4 drops of oil 2 of lemongrass and 2 drops of tea tree.
I have to say I'm so impressed with its effectiveness. Pip's temperature has reduced down to 38.2 so although above normal is a lot more manageable for her and she's settled and happy sitting with M in front of Paw Patrol (whatever makes her happy!) so therefore no need for Calpol .... for now!