Guido Socher

calf wraps, lower leg compress [Wadenwickel]

The body creates the physical warmth in the form of fever to activate the immune system. Fever is not the illness itself. Unfortunately confused parents quickly reach for tylenol and other over the counter "fever reducers". Reducing the fever does nothing but weakening the bodies natural immune response leaving the original infection untreated.

Very high fever (40'C and above) can however be a problem and the child might be extremely uncomfortable or exhausted. There is a very effective solution to lower such fever and it gives you much better control than tablets: Calf wraps.

For such a calf wrap you need:

The child's feet must be warm in order for this treatment to be given. With children that is usually the case. Older people who have problems with blood circulation in the legs might not be able to apply this procedure.

Place the child comfortably in the bed, covered but with bare legs. Protect the bed under the legs with the large towel. Soak the small cotton towels in water and wring it out until the last drop is expressed. Wrap one leg from foot to knee with this damp compress.

Wrap the woolen cloth around the calf which is now covered by the damp cloths. Repeat the procedure for the other leg.

After about 10 minutes the compress should be dry. Remove it and maybe repeat once. Check the temperature of the child. You will see that it has gone down by several degrees and it will stay there for quite a while. Usually the child feels already much better after the first application and just wants to sleep.

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© Guido Socher, guidosocher at,