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Natural Remedies To Help Your Children’s Health

Natural Remedies To Help Your Children’s Health

When your bundle of joy arrives, along with the love, hugs and cuddles, inevitably worries about their well-being begin. Getting organised with good practices for sleeping and feeding can be a minefield in itself, so when niggly complaints and illnesses start to appear, trying to find ways to help and soothe your child can be overwhelming.

For well over a decade, complementary therapies have been rising in popularity in the UK, with an increasing number of the British public believing their effects could be as beneficial as conventional medicine in some instances. Unfortunately, evidence of successful outcomes is limited – even more so for children, who are rarely subject to professional studies.

If your child is sick, you must always seek the advice of a medical professional first. Also, for very young babies it is imperative that you talk to your doctor and health advisor. Homeopathic medicines, for example, can be dangerous for small babes. That said, there are many alternative natural health remedies that the main body of health professionals agree are potentially beneficial, particularly for children over the age of two.

In this article we examine some key areas of childhood health issues and look at what steps you can take outside of, or in conjunction with, conventional medicinal treatments.

Boosting The Immune System

Boosting your baby’s immune system is something you can think about from about six months old. It is particularly useful for babies who suffer with reflux and colic and for older toddlers who struggle to get to grips with eating enough veg!

Probiotics are available from reputable companies even for young babies. Probiotics help encourage good gut bacteria to help ward off illnesses and strengthen the immune system. Many studies have shown that probiotics, such as acidophilus and lactobacillus, can combat the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, food allergies, eczema and asthma. If you are thinking of giving your child a regular supplement of probiotics it must be age appropriate.

Fish Oil has been given to children for decades to help boost immunity. Fish oils that are rich in essential fatty acids, including Omega 3 can help stave off or improve the symptoms of common childhood ailments such as ear infections and asthma.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are extremely common in young children. Around 50% of children will be infected with Otitis Media within their first year. This figure rises to 90% in children under 6. Many studies have shown that, as mentioned above, fish oil is hugely beneficial, along with probiotics and good diet in preventing persistent ear infections in babies and young children and combatting the allergens that can cause susceptibility. Aside from taking these supplements, treating ear infections with common medicines such as age-appropriate Calpol and Nurofen should be the first line of defence before resorting to antibiotics (which should be considered if fever and general sickness persist for around four days or more).

Cranial Osteopathy involves gentle manipulation of the head by a qualified osteopath. This technique can be used for reflux and colic as well as ear infections. Studies have shown that using osteopathic manipulative treatment has potential benefit for children who suffer with ear infections by relieving pressure on the eustachian tube which is generally shorter in small children and can prevent blockages in the middle ear draining away effectively.

Looking to find a specialist in complementary therapies? We’ve selected the top Private Centres For Complementary Therapies to help give you peace of mind.

Colds And Flu

Vitamin D has been noted as being particularly useful in staving off colds and flu and preventing respiratory tract infections. If you are using a fish oil supplement, many of these will come with Vitamin D included. A standard dose of vitamin D is recommended for children of all ages.

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy, trusted by many adults to relieve flu like symptoms. It is generally thought safe for children over two years old. You should always consult your doctor before giving homeopathic medicines, but many doctors will agree that homeopathic preparations are safe in the correct doses.

Honey and lemon juice is a great recipe for sore throats and is just as effective as over the counter medicines. Lemon helps with congestion whilst honey soothes irritated passages. However, honey should NOT be given to babies under a year old.

Dried herbs can be mixed with boiling water (left to cool) to make soothing teas, or mixed with fruit juice to make popsicles. Thyme, lemon balm, eucalyptus, liquorice, anise and mint are good options to help relieve nasty coughs.

Reflux And Colic

Cranial osteopathy – as above, cranial osteopathy can be very effective at relieving the painful symptoms of reflux and colic. Finding a practitioner who has experience with babies is a must. This is a particularly effective treatment for babies who have experienced traumatic births (forceps, ventouse and C-section). Babies undergo a lot of physical stress during a difficult birth. Gently manipulating the head can relieve the twisting, tension and build-up of pressure that can make feeding a painful experience for many babies.

Elevation is important for babies who suffer with reflux. Keep babies elevated during and after feeding, and make sure that their cot is elevated at the head end, so that when they sleep acid is kept in the stomach rather than making its way upwards and causing pain.

As mentioned above, probiotics prevent the build-up of bad bacteria in the gut. Exactly why they help to relieve reflux is unknown but studies have shown that reflux babies who are given probiotic supplement cry for less (over half) the time of babies who go without. If using infant formula, try switching to a brand that incorporates a probiotic too.

Chamomile tea can be used for infants to help relax muscles and soothe. Steep the tea or teabag in boiling water and leave to cool. Only give a couple of ounces in a bottle.

Everyday Hacks

Baking soda – a must for insect bites. Mix with water form a paste and put on affected area.

Cucumber – for swelling. Just as it helps us ladies with those eye bags, cucumber, sliced and cold from the fridge will help reduce swelling from minor bumps.

Chewing gum – for older children only (four years upwards) can relieve constipation as extra saliva will neutralise stomach acid.

Ginger tea – fresh ginger in boiling water left to cool (add honey to taste) will help prevent car sickness by stopping the stomach contractions that cause nausea.

 

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