These ideas and guidance will help you feel more in control, and better empowered when those nasty bugs start to invade your little one's system...
Every parent can feel helpless to watch their child suffer with cold or flu symptoms. It’s even scarier when a fever spikes, sometimes causing febrile seizures. Here's my best advice:
START WITH THE BASICS:
Bacterial vs. Viral
Bacteria and viruses are not the enemy. In fact it is vitally important for your children to get sick at least once a year to keep their immune system primed and up-to-date.
Often, parents will be inclined to suppress every illness symptom as quickly as possible, as soon as their little one starts to spike a fever or get uncomfortable. Most medical doctors will too quickly prescribe Antibiotics, plus pain and fever reducers, which is often unnecessary.
The first thing we need to remember
is to support the immune system
and trust it to do its job.
Antibiotics are only helpful if the cause of the illness is bacterial in nature. If it’s viral, such as the Influenza Virus, then antivirals need to be used, not antibiotics.
There is an easier way to determine if the symptoms are either bacterial or viral in nature:
One important thing to note is that when it comes to more natural medicines, you need to treat as soon as the symptoms appear, and you need to dose often. With my patients, we sometimes will dose with one of the following remedies every hour, or every couple hours, to really nip the infection in the bud.
Here are some suggested natural remedies*, which will probably help you to avoid the long waits at the walk-in clinic:
Yes, it's Vitamin C
(Recommended: 500g-3g minimum per day) – Provides antioxidant and supports the immune system. Most often vitamin C can be given as a flavoured powder added to water or made into popsicles so it’s easier for the child to take it.
Find a combination of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. Echinacea purpurea only lasts 90 minutes in the body. If you have Echinacea already at home, it’s best to dose often for maximum results. Blending the two Echinacea herbs together provide the body with 6 hours of immune support.
Natural Cough Syrup
These products usually contain herbs to support the immune system’s response and can often soothe the inflamed throat. I personally like Nim Jiom or Elderberry cough syrup. If necessary, you can dose these syrups every hour.
Diet and Lifestyle
Diet and lifestyle changes are of the utmost importance here too!
High sugar diets automatically feed the infection and lower the immune system.
1 teaspoon of sugar can lower the immune system for up to 4 hours!
Just imagine how many teaspoons of sugar there are in cereals, juices or carbonated drinks your children may be consuming.
So sugary foods must be absolutely out of their diet, including any foods with high-fructose corn syrup. I also recommend abstaining from any dairy products as they are mucous forming and can contribute to delayed healing times. The other obvious foods to remove are junk food, highly processed foods. The child must be allowed to rest.
Wet Sock Therapy
This method is amazing at reducing congestion in the head, neck and chest, plus you already have all of the tools you need in your home! Here’s how to do it:
Get a pair of thin sport socks and thick wool socks. Soak the sport socks into the coldest water possible, then wring out the water and apply directly to the feet.
Immediately after, cover the damp cold sports socks with the thick wool socks.
Lie down and go to sleep. Do not walk around the house after applying.
What happens is the cold socks will draw the heat and congestion away from the head and concentrate on warming and drying the feet, while the warmer wool socks help to expand the blood vessels, creating a circuit back to the head. This will continue to cycle as you sleep.
Repeat every night if necessary! •
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Andrea Maxim is a Naturopathic Doctor practising in Burlington and Caledonia, author, speaker and presenter, and creator of “The Maxim Movement” program for better health. As part of her practise, she offers many other avenues of treatment for acute cold or flu, and febrile seizures with great success. If you are interested in learning more please visit her website and book an initial consultation: www.TheMaximMovement.com