There is nothing more frustrating for parents than when your little one starts feeling under the weather. You sometimes feel so helpless and wish that there was more than you could do to ease their discomfort. Sometimes there is not much we can do other than letting them ride it out and smother them with hugs and kisses. But sometimes there is a lot we can do to keep them from getting sick in the first place.
Here is what I have learned through my experiences.
1. Breastfeed. There are books written about the benefits of breastfeeding. There are even articles written about Uncommon Uses for Breast Milk for things such as acne, pink eye, scrapes and bruises. This is all because breast milk has amazing healing properties and it is the reason I breastfed my oldest daughter until she was 2 years old. I plan to do the same with my youngest. I was constantly amazed at how quickly my oldest recuperated when she got sick from day care and how strong and healthy she is now. By breastfeeding her, I have made an investment in her future health.
“The nation benefits overall when mothers breastfeed. Recent research shows that if 90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. The United States would also save $13 billion per year — medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.” From US Department of Health
2. Control What They Eat. Start them young and get them used to eating good nutritious meals. Since the moment she was old enough to eat solids, we worked very hard to get my oldest daughter used to vegetables and fruits. The result of our hard work: our 5-year-old will eat a salad for dinner and loves a good spinach quiche.
We sometimes are tempted to pack our kids with vitamins through cereals or over-the-counter vitamins but nothing replaces the naturally occurring vitamins and antioxidants that are in every day wholesome and non-processed foods. The sickest my oldest has ever been was during a time in our lives when we were traveling extensively and eating out a lot. She was not getting her usual dose of fruits and vegetables. Since she was born, she has hardly ever run a fever, but that time her fever worried me. She got her first and only ear infection. I quickly learned my lesson and that pushed me to get us back to our old routine.
3. Let Them Play in the Dirt. It is good to teach your kids good hygiene, but at the same time, don’t freak out if your toddler picks up and eats the cracker he dropped on the floor. Kids need to build up their immune systems and they do that by being exposed to everyday germs. I wouldn’t let my baby crawl around in a public bathroom, but let kids go outside, get dirty, and be happy.
4. Seek Natural Remedies. Before you break out the NyQuil, look to see if there is a natural alternative. I have found that nothing work as well for a cold as good old fashioned chicken soup. Yes, if her symptoms get really bad, we might give my daughter Robitussin for kids, but most of the time I just fill her up with chicken soup made with lots of garlic and veggies. It even works for hubby too.
5. Corrective Chiropractic Care. This is a new one for me and I plan to write a blog or maybe a couple on this one. We stumbled upon this out of desperation due to some back pain I was experiencing when I was pregnant. The first time I went, I was very nervous, but there was a patient who eased my worries and told me that through chiropractic care she had stopped getting migraines. Interesting, I thought. Just about every visit after that, I would hear new testimonials from others about how chiropractic care had helped their kids with asthma, allergies and some other every day ailments. To make a long story short, we tried if for our daughters and my husband and we have seen the dramatic effects on their health. My husband’s chronic leg pain is almost gone after 2 months treatment and my daughter’s asthma and allergies are dramatically improved.
“Aches and pains are signs that your body isn’t working right. Your brain, spinal cord and all your nerves control how your body works. Physical, chemical or emotional stresses produce a defensive posture. Muscles contract, locking spinal joints that pinch or irritate nearby nerves. Lack of nervous system integrity sets the stage for disease and ill health. A thorough examination helps chiropractors find these subluxations. Applying a precise force to stuck spinal joints helps the body right itself. Health usually returns as repeated visits restore nervous system integrity. That’s why chiropractic care has helped millions get well and stay well.” From Merkel Chiropractic
6. Prayer. There are always things you cannot control and at the end of the day I have to leave my girls in God’s hands. I try to start my day with prayer and if they are sick, it is the first thing I do. See my article When We Can’t Control Everything