By: Judith DeCava

FEVER is a built-in mechanism of repair. No one ever "burnt up" with fever; nor ever will. Heat a pan of water to 106F, insert your finger and see how hot it is. Did you feel anything at all?

The Journal of Clinical Therapeutics, July 1980, tells us that: "Most authorities regard temperatures below 106F as harmless and those over 108F as potentially harmful." The Am. Jrnl. Dis. Child., 134:176-181, 1980, advises that fever rarely produces serious complications. More than one person has sustained fever as high as 114.8F without brain damage. Many mothers panic over fever in their children, but the truth is established in the following official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Pediatrics 66:1009-1012, 12/81 reports FEBRILE CONVULSIONS in childhood DO NOT injure the CNS (brain and spinal cord). Febrile convulsions, meaning muscle twitching from fever which is actually HYPOCALCEMIC TETANY (low blood calcium muscle twitching) do not cause brain damage or subsequent epileptic disorders. Kendrig, Jr., et al, advise: "Phenobarbital prevents febrile seizures ...but...causes SIDE EFFECTS - disturbances in behavior, sleep patterns and short-term memory in up to 40% of children, and WILL NOT prevent the development of epilepsy." Therefore, its routine use is NOT RECOMMENDED. "Neither Dilantin nor antipyretics (aspirin, tylenol) prevent febrile seizures."

HYPOCALCEMIC TETANY - febrile convulsions as a result of low blood calcium - occurs when the blood plasma calcium is decreased 50% from normal, according to Textbook of Physiology, Zoethout and Tuttle. INFLAMMATION, erroneously called infection, is the biochemical repair mechanism which requires increased ionized calcium (CA++) for two reasons: (1) The matrix or ground substance being laid down in the repair or replacement of cells requires CA++ for the reticular network (basic or foundation lattice-work of connective tissue) - the substance of primary importance. (2) The ability of phagocytes (special white blood cells that engulf foreign matter in the body) to carry out phagocytosis is dependent upon available CA++ in the cytoplasm of the phagocytic leucocyte. NO CA++ NO PHAGOCYTOSIS (engulfing of cellular waste at the site of inflammation).