Winter is officially upon us, and all the germs are making their rounds. Whether it’s a cold, flu, or COVID, getting sick is no fun.
Do you know what’s even worse?? Having a sick kid!
It’s inevitable that your little bundle of joy will catch something at some point, it’s just a question of how hard they get hit. Although prevention is an important part of this topic, it's outside the scope of this article. Basically, as long as you feed your child as many natural, unprocessed foods as possible you are in pretty good shape. Check out this more detailed article about nutrition if you’d like to learn more.
If your kid is already sick, it's your job to help him process the symptoms. My favorite pediatrician, Dr. Palevsky, often remarks that “children need to be allowed to experience symptoms of acute illness in order for their bodies to appropriately cleanse the wastes and toxins from their systems, and so they can go forward in their lives toward greater optimal health and wellness.” Rarely does Dr. Palevsky ever need to prescribe antibiotics for children in his practice. On average, he writes one antibiotic prescription per year. This is because he has come to understand that most illnesses in children are not caused by infections, and therefore, don’t require antibiotic treatment.
This also goes for other medicines such as Tylenol or Sudafed. Both of these block the ability of your kid to process the symptoms of their illness, which compromises their immunity in the end.
This is why all of our recommendations are completely natural and complementary to processing the disease. That said when you’re in doubt call your doctor.
- Do not force your kid to eat. If they are not hungry it means that the body has taken attention away from digestion and is focusing on healing. Just go with it and give them plenty of fluids.
- Encourage tons of rest in a peaceful and calm environment. Let them sleep as much as they want.
- Give your kid a warm bath, several times per day if necessary, and stay with them as much as possible. Lay low, and watch him closely. Be mindful of cool or cold drafts when getting out of the bath.
- Don’t get hung up on trying to reduce your child’s fever. Fever is an important part of the body’s natural healing process and reducing it can prolong disease. Don’t focus so much on the number on the thermometer, but more on your kid’s behavior. If you notice mental health changes it’s time to call for help. Otherwise, consider letting them rest.
- Use the wet sock treatment after the warm bath for high fever: put a pair of wet, cool, cotton socks on your child’s feet, followed by a pair of dry, wool socks, and put your child to bed. Dr. Palevsky thanks his naturopathic physician colleagues for this smart therapeutic intervention. Many parents report how much it helps to improve their children’s symptoms of fever and upper respiratory issues.
Watching your kid process an illness is hard, but it's an unfortunate part of growing up. Healthy kids are usually able to get through most childhood diseases without any outside intervention. Your kid will be ok as long as they have their father’s love!