Before I begin, its important for me to mention that it is NORMAL for kids to get sick often… (sigh) sometimes it feels like it’s all the time! This is how their immune systems develop. Even the healthiest children will get ill often……. and that’s a good thing!
What isn’t a good thing is if we rush them off to the family doctor with every sniffle or sneeze. Doctors are wonderful and must be consulted when necessary, however, it is simply unnecessary to treat minor illnesses with antibiotics or OTC medication, especially when it comes to children. You will actually do your children a disservice if they go on course after course of antibiotics. It will not only rob their bodies of ‘friendly bacteria’ or probiotics but also does not allow for the immune system to learn how to deal with infection either.
The point I’m getting at is that there needs to be a mind shift change with the way we view childhood illness. No, it’s not fun for the parent(s) when your child gets sick but, rather than something to worry about, it should be viewed as a necessary part of growing up. A rite of passage if you will.
The following has worked for us:
I have two boys, a three year old and a 10 month old. We have certainly had our fair share of fevers, coughs, colds, tummy bugs etc etc… however, after 10 years of working in the health and wellness industry, I have seen first hand what the body is capable of given the right nutrients and environment. The following routine has helped our boys recover quickly and I believe has also helped their immune systems to develop normally.
I exclusively breastfeed my 10 month old, so when he gets ill I simply increase the nutrients in my own diet with green juices, bone broth, fermented foods, extra vitamin C, D and E, probiotics, colostrum powder and zinc. I also give him Metagenics Ultraflora Baby (probiotic), vitamin D3 drops (on cloudy days) and Animal Parade Baby Plex liquid vitamin drops. I make sure then that on the sunny days he is exposed to sunlight for 10 or so minutes, naked, in order for his body to produce its own vitamin D. In addition to all this I breastfeed on demand and cuddle him close (skin on skin whenever possible). When he gets a fever I monitor him every hour or so, but do not intervene unless it exceeds 40 degrees. Breastfeeding often also helps keep him cool and supplies him with the nutrients he needs in order for his body to fight the infection.
Side Note: Research shows that an infant’s saliva contains information about the baby’s immune status. During breastfeeding this information is read by receptors in the mother’s mammary gland and the immunological composition of breastmilk is adjusted accordingly. How amazing is that!?
Other options for treating sick babies are homeopathic remedies. I love the Pegasus range. In particular, Antivirabac (a natural homeopathic antibiotic) and Teething, Pain & Fever (the name pretty much explains it!). Aromatherapy essential oils such as Eucalyptus and Peppermint can also be used to ease symptoms by opening up blocked airways.
When our three year old gets sick we cut out sugar, gluten and dairy from his diet. No, this isn’t easy nor is it fun, but often his appetite drops anyway which helps. If he does want to eat, then for breakfast we give him a chocolate peanut butter smoothie loaded with hidden greens, omegas and superfoods. Lunch and dinner are usually simple meals made up of lots of vegetables, healthy fats, and quality protein (he doesn’t really like fruit). Next we encourage him to sleep as much as possible and make sure he gets daily sunlight on his skin.
In terms of supplements he takes Junior Script by Medford (an immune boosting liquid multivitamin), Good Health Colostrum chews, Good Health Chewable Vitamin D3, Solgar Chewable Vitamin C, Viridian Children’s Synbiotic Probiotic Powder or Metagenics Ultraflora Synergy powder and A.Vogel Echinaforce Junior; all of which help support and boost his immune system. We also love Himalaya Septicillin and Medford Cough Script for coughs and colds. Fulvic acid is another favourite which we use to treat infections (to our surprise our son loves it, calling it “black water!”)
For ear and eye infections we use Colloidal Silver Spray or drops and to unblock a snotty nose we’ll use X-Clear Xylitol nasal spray for kids.
If he gets a fever, again, we do not intervene unless it reaches 40 degrees. We do however, make sure he drinks lots of water and if he hasn’t eaten we’ll give him a little raw honey to prevent any sudden drops in blood sugar.
Lastly, although he is my “big boy,” I’ll also give him plenty of love and cuddles when he’s sick. There is definitely an emotional aspect to healing that I’ve learnt to embrace (excuse the pun).
I love my boys dearly and hate when they are unwell, however, I also know that illness is a necessary part of their development. Therefore, I do what I can to support their bodies, rest with them as much as possible and wait patiently until they are well again.
This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your trusted health care provider before making any changes to you or your family’s diet, medication or supplements.