Knowing which oils are safe to eat and cook with can be difficult, as there is so much conflicting information out there….
Most people are aware that soda is bad for you. And I am usually a firm supporter of the philosophy, “Everything in moderation.”
But did you know that drinking only a small amount of soda can be harmful to your health?…
There is an abundance of evidence in the medical literature proving the many healing properties of turmeric. In fact, a number of studies have shown turmeric to be more effective than many pharmaceutical medications!…
Fever is a natural part of many illnesses, and most people don’t realize that fever can actually benefit you. By itself, fever is not a disease. Usually it is a positive sign that your body is fighting infection. …
Seeing your child with a fever can be very frightening. You may worry; does my child have a serious infection? Will the fever cause him to have a seizure? Will the fever damage her brain? Many questions may run through your mind as you sit at your child’s bedside, feeling worried and helpless.
But are fevers actually dangerous?
First of all, what is a fever?
A normal body temperature is between 97 and 100.4° F (36 to 38° C). If your child’s temperature is above this range, he has a fever.
A fever is usually caused by infections from either:
- viruses, the most common cause (such as a cold or the flu) or
- bacteria (such as strep throat or some ear infections).
Are fevers dangerous?
What most parents don’t realize is that, alhamdulillah, fever is just a natural part of many illnesses and can actually benefit your child. By itself, fever is not a disease. Usually it is a positive sign that your child’s body is fighting infection. Fever stimulates certain defenses, such as the white blood cells, which attack and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states,
“Fever is not the primary illness but is a physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects in fighting infection. There is no evidence that fever itself worsens the course of an illness or that it causes long-term neurologic complications. Thus, the primary goal of treating the febrile child should be to improve the child’s overall comfort rather than focus on the normalization of body temperature.”
In other words, your child’s fever is actually important in helping him fight the infection.
So rather than worrying about the number on the thermometer, focus on how your child looks and acts. Make sure your child is drinking enough fluids and not becoming dehydrated. Keep him comfortable with these natural ways to reduce a fever (article coming soon inshAllah). And to help support your child’s immune system, read here about natural remedies for cold and flu.
Should I give my child fever-reducers?
Only treat your child’s fever with medication if the fever is making him miserable. And PLEASE! Don’t wake up your child in order to give him a fever-reducer. He needs sleep more than he needs medication to lower his fever.
Unfortunately, especially here in the Middle East, a trip to the doctor will often mean coming home with a bag full of pharmaceuticals, many of which are unnecessary are have harmful side effects. For example, a child with a viral infection (like a cold or flu) will not benefit from antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and do absolutely nothing to combat a viral infection. In such a situation the antibiotics actually do more harm than good. Antibiotics destroy the “good bacteria” found in our intestines which are crucial to our health and the functioning of our immune systems (Read more here about the importance of these “good bacteria”). So by taking antibiotics, the child’s immune system will weaken and he will be more susceptible to infection in the future. This becomes a vicious cycle for many children, who seem to be ill the entire winter.
Of course, there are situations in which antibiotics are necessary. But in the majority of cases of fever in children, time, rest, and loving care are all that’s needed.
So when should I be worried?
Here are situations in which your child should be taken to see a doctor:
- Any infant younger than 6 weeks of age with a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher. This child should be seen by a doctor immediately.
- Fever lasting more than 5 days.
- Fever rising above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age.
- If your child is having difficulty breathing (he is working very hard to breath or is breathing very fast).
- There is no clear cause for the child’s fever (no cough, runny nose, throat pain, ear pain, diarrhea, etc) and the fever has lasted for two to three days.
- If your child is not drinking enough liquids. Babies who are not wetting at least four diapers per day and older children who are not urinating every eight to 12 hours may become dehydrated. This is especially dangerous for small babies.
- Your child has any of the following symptoms: stiff neck or pain in the back of the neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, severe abdominal pain, pain with urination, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea without tolerating fluids.
- If your child has had a seizure.
- If your child is lethargic- this means that your child is limp, lifeless, difficult to awaken, unresponsive or won’t make eye contact.
- Your child cries for hours, won’t talk to you, and is almost impossible to comfort.
Do high fevers cause brain damage?
Fevers due to infection do not cause brain damage. Only body temperatures above 108° F (42° C) can cause brain damage, and these high temperatures are only seen under extreme conditions (for example, if a child is kept in a closed car in hot weather). Fevers caused by infection will rarely go over 105°F (40.5° C).
What if my child has a seizure?
A febrile seizure can occur during a quick spike in temperature. They affect children 6 months to 6 years old, and are most common in children 12–18 months old. The seizures usually last for a few minutes. A child is prone to febrile seizures if they run in his family or if he’s had one within the past year.
Although they can be terrifying for the parents to watch, febrile seizures do not cause brain damage or affect intelligence. And evidence shows that treating a child’s fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen does not prevent febrile seizures.
Parents who witness their child’s febrile seizure should:
- Try to stay calm (I know…easier said than done)
- Make sure the child is on a safe surface and position him on his side to prevent choking.
- Do not try to stop his movement or convulsions.
- Do not put anything in the child’s mouth.
- Remove hard or sharp objects nearby.
- Time the seizure. If it lasts for more than 5 minutes, the child needs emergency medical assistance. If the seizure lasts less than 5 minutes the child should be evaluated by a doctor, but in most cases no further treatment is needed.
- Fever itself is not dangerous and can actually benefit your child. It is usually a positive sign that your child’s body is fighting infection.
- Rather than worrying about the number on the thermometer, focus on how your child looks and acts, and his level of hydration.
- Try to treat your child’s fever with natural remedies, and only give fever-reducers if the fever is making him miserable.
- The fever itself, due to infection, does not cause brain damage.
- Febrile seizures do not cause brain damage or affect intelligence. And evidence shows that treating a child’s fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen does not prevent febrile seizures.
Every mother worries endlessly about her child’s health. Is he eating the right foods? Does my child get enough exercise? Is his school environment safe?
But did you know that there is something you can do for your child, right now, which can dramatically improve his health? In fact, it may be the most important thing you can do for your child’s health!
And the good news is, it’s…
- incredibly simple
What is it? Asking yourself this simple question…
Many mothers have come to me in desperation, complaining that they can’t get their child to eat healthy food. And I really understand this struggle, as I went through a very difficult period with my own son, in which all he wanted to eat was ketchup sandwiches for about 6 months!
Here are some tips which have helped me to transform my kids from junk-food addicts to (mostly!) healthy eaters……
I hate the word “diet”!
At least, I hate what it has come to mean in today’s society… a quick fix, a temporary deviance from our normal lifestyle. Its primary goal is to lose weight (with little emphasis on improving health).
Because diets do not involve permanent lifestyle changes, studies show that they usually result in the person returning to his previous habits and gaining back all the weight he lost (and even more!)
But that’s not all. Dieting is not only ineffective; it can also be dangerous to your health.
Here’s why dieting is bad for you:
- Repeatedly losing and gaining weight (yo-yo dieting) has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and decreased immune function.
- The stress of dieting causes your body to produce cortisol, a hormone which actually causes you to gain weight!
- The psychological effects of constantly depriving yourself are extensive and long-term. Dieting teaches us to obsess over and focus too much on our food. It can lead to depression and poor self-esteem.
- As children, we instinctively know when we’re hungry and when we’ve had enough to eat. Dieting teaches us to ignore these signals and instead focus on how much we “should be eating” because we are on a diet.
But at the same time, obesity has become an enormous global problem. Saudi Arabia was ranked second in the world for highest rates of female obesity.
A staggering 40-50% of women in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are obese.
So if dieting doesn’t work, how do I lose weight?
Here are 15 tips for achieving, and maintaining, a healthy self:
- DON’T count calories! An avocado and a candy bar may have the same amount of calories, but the avocado is infinitely better for your health. It’s packed with healthy fats and vitamins, while the candy bar is mostly empty calories.
- Instead of counting calories, focus on fueling your body with nourishing, wholesome foods. Cut out the processed, fake foods. Is your kitchen filled with foods in boxes and bags? Check the labels of everything you buy, and make sure they contain natural ingredients without preservatives and artificial substances. These foods contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and chemicals which cause you to crave more and never feel satisfied. Think about it, you may have binged on a bag of potato chips or biscuits, but have you ever binged on apples or oranges?
- Decrease your intake of grains and carbohydrates (refined sugar, rice, bread, etc). Many packaged foods contain large amounts of hidden sugar, another reason to avoid them.
- Eat lots of healthy fats and protein.
- organic pastured eggs.
- nuts & seeds.
- coconut oil.
- olive oil.
- butter (preferable from grass-fed cows).
- grass-fed beef.
- pastured chicken.
- Eat lots of probiotics foods. These foods provide beneficial bacteria which are essential to the health of your gut, and to your overall health.
- Drink mostly water (juices and soda contain a lot of sugar).
- Plan, plan, plan! This includes planning your next meal or snack, and planning when you will exercise. Waiting until you’re hungry to figure out what you will eat is a recipe for disaster! That’s usually when you find yourself making poor choices.
- Include strength training in your exercise routine. Studies show that you continue to burn calories for up to 38 hours after a strength training workout!
- Find joy in your relationship with food, rather than temporary pleasure followed by guilt and depression. After you cut out processed foods, you will find that your taste buds will change. Honestly, you will find yourself craving a bright, colorful, nourishing salad, rather than a burger and fries. And when you eat that salad, it will leave you feeling healthy, energized, and happy (without any guilt!).
- Learn to listen to (and act on) your body’s cues that you are hungry or full. Don’t eat just because everyone around you is eating. Eat because you are hungry and want to nourish your body.
- Learn to manage your stress. When you are under stress your body releases the hormone cortisol, which causes you to gain weight.
- Follow the Sunnah and fast twice a week. Western science is now discovering the amazing benefits of fasting, not just for your weight, but your overall health.
- Go to bed early and get enough sleep every night. Studies show that lack of sleep causes your body to release hormones which increase your appetite and your chances of being obese.
- Make sure your Vitamin D level is optimal. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with weight gain and obesity. If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked recently, I highly recommend you do so.
- Don’t obsess over numbers. That number on the scale can be deceiving. You may have gained weight today because you’ve been exercising and have gained muscle mass (Go, you!). Or your body may have held on to a little extra water today. Regardless of the cause, focus on how you look and feel, not on some ideal number on the scale. If you absolutely can’t live without the scale, I would recommend weighing yourself no more than once a week.
- Take it step by step. It probably took years to put on all that weight; it’s not coming off overnight! Start by replacing one unhealthy thing in your life with something healthy. Be patient and take it slowly, so the changes will stick.
- Don’t try to lose weight just so you’ll look good at the next party. Do this for yourself. For your children. And for your future. It’s all about changing habits. As the saying goes, if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten!
In the United States, cancer is now second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death, claiming more than 500,000 lives per year.
But did you know that cancer is actually a modern, man-made disease? …
I’ve already discussed the remarkable health benefits of fasting. But unfortunately, during Ramadhan many people miss out on a golden opportunity to detoxify and rejuvenate their physical health. They offset the benefits by breaking the fast with fried foods and sugary treats. They then continue to stuff themselves throughout the night with more empty calories….