Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Science In Nursing

Colleges & School

Ruth S. Coleman College Of Nursing And Health Sciences

First Advisor

Ruth M. Waite, PhD, RN

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Traditional medicine--Mexico; Fever in children; Mexican American women--Wisconsin; Mexican American women--Health and hygiene


The purpose of this study was to identify the health care practices Mexican American mothers use for children with fever. The survey results (N = 47) indicated the following three most common practices: 1) giving acetaminophen (85%), 2) removing warm clothes (66%) and 3) giving ibuprofen (53%). The potentially harmful practice of administering aspirin to children with fever was indicated by 23% of the mothers. In addition, 29% of mothers placed alcohol on the body, a practice contraindicated by Western medicine. A variety of other remedies for fever were identified by Mexican American mothers including applying cold compresses, praying, giving cold baths, Vaporub, tea, placing tomatoes on the body, placing eggs on the body, dressing with clothes, using herbs, magic, enemas, electrolyte drinks, placing alcohol in the belly button, giving water, giving Nyquil, and keeping the child in the house. No participants indicated the use of a curandero, placing mud on the body, or the use of azarcón. Thirty-six percent of the mothers reported using home remedies more due to lack of money or insurance. Forty three percent of the mothers used remedies obtained from Mexico. While many mothers in the survey utilized accepted Western practices, 96% of the mothers used alternative practices unique to the culture. After reviewing the study findings, the researcher encourages health care givers to practice culturally sensitive care and promotes increased awareness of teaching opportunities for Mexican American mothers about the safe and potentially unsafe practices of treating fever.


Open Access

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