Having a sick child is something every parent has to deal with. Being at playgroups, preschools, daycares, activities or in school means they are constantly in contact with germs from other children, and can frequently get sick as their immune systems are still developing. Most kids get common colds, coughs, diaper rashes, ear infections, diarrhea, stomachaches and/or skin rashes at some time throughout every year.
Bacteria and viruses are naturally present in every environment and because a child’s immune system is just getting built up, they get sick more often than adults. To boost your child's health, offer them healthy foods, ensure a good nights sleep, promote physical activities and when in doubt seek guidance from your local Naturopathic Doctor. A Naturopath can provide your family with regular well child visits at key developmental milestones in your child's life, and can offer acute visits for common childhood ailments.
Here are 10 Naturopath approved remedies for children:
1. Calendula for the Skin
Skin rashes can develop on a child's skin at any given moment. Rashes can cause serious discomfort, and the urge to scratch only makes it worse. Applying calendula oil or cream directly to the irritated area will help to sooth and heal it. Skin rashes and irritation can be caused by food allergies, environmental allergies, candida, insect bites, excessive sweating, swimming in lakes and pools, and contact with certain plants.
2. Lemon and Honey for Sore Throat & Cough
Lemon and honey tea is the ultimate comfort when kids (and even adults) are sick. A warm cup of this tea will help sooth the throat and calm a cough. Simply squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into a cup, add a tablespoon of honey and fill with hot water. Stir everything together until the honey has melted, allow to cool before your child drinks it.
3. Baking Soda for Bug Bites
Baking soda is one of those miracle ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen cupboards. There are so many useful tricks that baking soda can be used for from polishing your teeth, cutting through grease when cleaning, to absorbing smells in the fridge. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste. Apply this to your child's bug bite and allow it to dry; it will relieve the itchy sensation and prevent your child from scratching so the skin can heal.
4. Ginger for Nausea
If your child suffers from motion sickness, or comes down with a stomach bug, ginger can help to ease stomach discomfort and reduce nausea. Ginger is very versatile and can be found in teas, capsules, and lozenges. To make your own ginger tea, add 1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger to 2 cups of boiling water, turn the burner off, place a lid on the pot, and let the ginger steep for 10 minutes. Allow the tea to cool to a nice temperature, and then offer it to your child.
5. Water & Fibre for Constipation
Constipation is a common problem for children, affecting up to 30% of kids. Interestingly, the start of school is the most common time when constipation becomes an issue. First and foremost, increasing their fibre intake (through vegetables, fruit, oatmeal, flax, chia and hemp seeds) and water consumption will help them have an easier time using the washroom.
For stubborn issues, talk with you local Naturopath about magnesium citrate and/or probiotic supplementation, food allergy testing, and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) testing. You can also try herbal digestive relaxant teas like camomile and peppermint to help to soothe abdominal discomfort.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a gentle natural remedy that can be used topically for many different types of skin irritations. From dry skin, dandruff and eczema, coconut oil can be used safely in children to help soothe these issues. Simply clean the affected area and apply the coconut oil directly on the skin or hair. The fatty acids in coconut oil will help reduce inflammation, and help moisturize the skin.
7. Olive & Garlic Mullein Oil for Ear Issues
Earaches and ear infections are another very common problem that children have. Garlic mullein ear oil, has traditionally been used in Naturopathic practice to treat ear infections and ease ear discomfort. Garlic is antibacterial and antiviral in nature, and mullein helps to soothe the pain in the ear. Do not put anything in the eardrum if it is ruptured or if there is any drainage from the ear. If the pain does not improve within 48 hours, antibiotics may be needed.
Honey is known as liquid gold. There are so many amazing health benefits to using and eating honey, including:
Natural antimicrobial for wounds and burns
Natural antiinflammatory for itchy skin
All natural throat soother and cough suppressant
Remember that children under 12 months of age should not be given honey orally.
9. Duct Tape for Warts
Duct tape is known to be the fixer of everything! One thing that it does is irritate stubborn warts that can grow on the bottom of children's feet or on their hands. The duct tape inhibits their growth and makes them go away! Just place a small piece of tape on the skin over your child's wart. Change the tape whenever it starts to get icky; in about a month the wart should be gone.
Elderberries are another amazing natural health remedy. They are safe for children, and contain anti-viral properties which make them an effective-natural cure for the common cold and flu. Learn about Elderberry's amazing health benefits here.
To learn more about naturopathic remedies for children, check out Dr. Meghan van Drimmelen's article in alive Magazine - 'Natural Remedies for Kids ~ A Naturopath's Guide.'
To book an appointment with a Naturopath at Juniper Family Health please contact the clinic at 778-265-8340 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book online.