Fever Before you panic, note that fever is actually a good thing—a sign that the body is doing its job. The bacteria and viruses that cause infection thrive at a normal body temperature, but become threatened under more sweltering conditions. “When the body’s temperature rises, it stimulates the immune system to fight off infection,” Feder notes. “The goal is not to take away the fever altogether, but to make your child more comfortable and, at the same time, support the healing process and stimulate immune response.”
Try: Making sure your child is getting plenty of rest, fluids and TLC. For the early stages of a fever, Feder recommends Aconitum napellus or belladonna in the 30c strength ($6 each; drfeder.com). Finley also likes Febriplex by Unda ($19; rockwellnutrition.com).
Head lice Most parents are all too familiar with classroom outbreaks of these tiny parasitic insects, which infest the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes. They don’t carry or transmit disease, but can make kids itch. “Many parents prefer to use home treatments, not only because some strains of lice are now resistant to standard medicine, but also because they’re more natural, gentle and nontoxic,” Feder says.
Try: Quantum HairClean 1-2-3 ($12; evitamins.com), found to be as effective as prescription treatments; Jolis Cheveux Treatment Shampoo ($19; licetreatmentcenter.net); or Hylands Wild Child Quit Nits Complete Lice Kit ($15; amazon.com).
Tummy troubles Stomachaches can occur for a variety of reasons including appendicitis, gallstones and food poisoning. “Try to determine if a child is in serious acute pain or if it’s the garden-variety bellyache,” says Finley. If it’s accompanied by diarrhea, it could be caused by nerves or a pathogen, he adds.
Try: Treating post-meal/overeating episodes with Boiron Nux vomica, Lycopodium Clavatum or Chelidonium majus 30c ($7 each; vitaminshoppe.com). If heartburn or indigestion is a concern, try 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a shot of warm water. You can also soothe a sore stomach by rubbing castor oil clockwise on the belly.