Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First-Aid Remedies for Children

As a parent, it's impossible to protect your child from everything. Illnesses come and go, bumps and bruises appear in random places, and accidents are a common occurrence. But, one thing you can do as a parent is to be prepared for most situations.

One way of doing that is stocking your medicine cabinet with natural remedies that will not only aid in healing, but will also help to strengthen your child's immune system. Some of these remedies are homeopathic remedies which are completely non-toxic and gentle enough for newborn babies and children that are sensitive. If you don't know the difference between homeopathic remedies and other natural remedies, read this article.

Chamomilla (homeopathic): This is the #1 remedy to have as a parent. It will console an inconsolable child (I have seen its magic before - It's quite amazing), as long as it is well indicated for your babies symptoms. The homeopathic indications are for pain, including teething and colic in babies. The child will appear to be obviously unhappy and uncomfortable. They are angry, irritable, impatient and inconsolable. They are crying, screaming, and arching their back. They ask for something and then refuse it (by throwing it down, pushing it away with their hands, etc). A keynote in this remedy is one red cheek the other pale (we see this so often in babies!). This is also a very good remedy for earaches when the child is in the "chamomilla state" shown above.

Arnica (homeopathic): This is the #1 remedy for any accident (and is actually the #1 remedy for any first-aid kit). These accidents include falls, breaking of bones, and any other situation where a child is hurt/wounded. Arnica helps with pain relief and also stimulates the body to heal quickly. Parents - carry this remedy in your purse and/or car. Once you have experienced the magic of Arnica, you'll never want to be without it.

Belladonna (homeopathic): Great to have for high fevers where the face is red, hot skin to touch, and glistening eyes. Indicated in complaints that come on suddenly and forcefully. The child could be restless, jumping all around, and aggressive - striking those around him. During fever, children who need this remedy can fly into a temper on being given advise and complain that everything tastes bitter to them. They also ask for things but then refuse it when you give it to them (like Chamomilla). They also cannot stand to be talked to in a nice pacifying voice.

These remedies, of course, are indicated for first-aid situations only. If you child is exhibiting other  more chronic symptoms then you should seek to find a practitioner that can find their constitutional remedy. Constitutional homeopathy not only strengthens the immune system, but it works with the totality of the symptoms. It is a true holistic medicine. Dr. Oz is even a proponent for homeopathy. It is gentle enough to give to babies (with no side-effects) and will give them a solid foundation for lifelong health. Also keep in mind that these are only a couple of the thousands of remedies out there. More to come in the future, but for now this is a great start to a first-aid kit.

Other Remedies:

Probiotics: Probiotics for babies are so important. In this day and age, many babies are exposed to antibiotics right at birth. Their healthy gut flora doesn't have time to develop. Babies then get sick and are prescribed more antibiotics. Any gut flora they had is now gone. Probiotics for babies can be rubbed on mommy's nipple or put in their bottle (if fed from a bottle). Probiotics are great for babies who have colic and other digestive complaints. There are many companies that make probiotics specifically for babies.

Lavender Essential Oil: This oil is considered as the "universal oil". It is great for burns, stings, bites, restless/sleepless children and mommies and daddies who need to calm their nerves. This can be mixed into a carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc) and then put directly on the skin (diluted for sensitive skin - doesn't need to be diluted for non-sensitive skin). You should always test a small section of skin first to make sure there are no sensitivities. Lavender essential oil is a gentle anti-bacterial and anti-viral so is great for common cold and flu symptoms too.

Enema Bag: Enemas are a great way to break a fever for a baby or a child. This is a technique our grandparents and great grandparents used. It's a "folk" medicine that has been traded with children's tylenol and motrin (both of which are considered toxic to the liver). Another thing to keep in mind is that fever is actually good (as long as it is under 100.4 for newborns-3 months, 102.2 from 3 months to 3 years old and under 104.5 for everyone else). Fever helps the body to kill any invading bacteria or virus, and you certainly don't want to interrupt this beautiful process. In addition, fever helps to build the immune system. But, if fever goes above the numbers shown above, an enema is a great way to reduce it.

Colloidal Silver: This is a great alternative to antibiotics and is safe and gentle to use for children (a smaller dose is warranted for children vs. adults).

This is a great start to a natural medicine cabinet. You will be surprised at how often you use these remedies for your children (and even yourself too!)

Disclaimer: The above remedies are for acute complaints - not chronic, and certainly not for emergency situations which require medical care. Contact your physician if necessary. 

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

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