All parents want to keep their children healthy and happy. But in today’s world, it’s rather difficult. From maneuvering around the toxic additives in cereal, to sorting out the endocrine disrupters in shampoo, the world of self-education on safe children’s products and lifestyles can be daunting. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind:
1. Get Dirty!
As a child I grew up in the countryside of West Virginia and my favorite past time, considering I was a tomboy, was to play in the dirt (much to my parents’s shagrin). My parents were both healthcare workers so I was exposed to the hospital often when visiting them as a child. My mother was a dietician so we were educated on the importance of food. Today, despite being a hospitalist who is around the most ill of patients, I am rarely if ever, sick. I credit this to a healthy diet and early dirt and germ exposure. Say what?
Yes, studies are now showing that we have been over-sanitized. So consider ditching the antibacterial soaps and sterilized with bleach houses! Don’t worry. You don’t need to be messy or a slob, but you do need to understand how exposure to dirt is important to the development of the human body. As counterintuitive as it may sound, exposing a child’s young immune system to a wide array of bacterial biodomes is the correct way to naturally boost immunity. If not exposed young, when their immune system is being “educated” about what to defend itself against, this same adult may not be as competent at fighting off illness. Why? If they’ve never seen the bacteria or virus before, their body will have to start from scratch to build its immunity. These naturally occurring bacteria that live in the soil do help strengthen the immune system.
2. Go Outside!
Experts today have literally scared us into the dark when it comes to sun exposure. Yet, vitamin D REQUIRES sunlight to activate. As I previously stated above, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of cancers, including breast. Wearing sunscreen can block the body’s ability to activate Vitamin D. Moreover, many sunscreens contain toxic endocrine disruptors or carcinogenic substances that can be just as unhealthy as sun exposure. Kids especially need vitamin D for proper bone development, growth, hormone and immune function. Be wise about sun exposure but don’t completely limit your child’s exposure.
3. Epsom Salt Baths For The Win
I am a huge fan of Espom salt, or magnesium sulfate in a bath. It’s often a remedy to migraines, fatigue, muscle pains, and boosts immunity. Due to depleted and stripped soil, many of us are now magnesium deficient. Unfortunately, allopathic medicine lab results are abysmally incorrect. They are only capable of measuring 1% of the total magnesium in the body because the other 99% is bound to proteins and hence, immeasurable. Magnesium is used in almost every reaction in the body and will help kids relax and sleep well at night.
4. Don’t Forget Proper Sleep & Stress Management
Be sure your children have creative downtime and plenty of sleep. Try to foster a calm and stress-free household. Happiness is a choice and children are very tuned into our nonverbal and verbal cues.
Children also need much more sleep than adults. Younger children need up to 12-14 hours. Its also important to make sure your children are sleeping with all the lights off. After the sun sets, they should not be in front of a television or Ipad. Pull the night lights too! We are surrounded by EMF as mentioned above, and subjecting our pineal glands to this at dusk can interfere with correct melatonin production.
5. Don’t Freak Out Over A Fever Or Other Natural Immune Reactions
Even the 1968 Merck Manual recommends NOT treating a fever until its up to 104! Okay, so I don’t expect most moms to wait that long, but I would advise at reaching for the Children’s Tylenol at the slightest sniffle or night sweat. Fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, or skin reactions are the body’s way of alerting us that there is a foreign offender inside. Without these symptoms, we would miss many root causes of illness. This is also your body’s natural immune system as most pathogens can’t withstand heat, emesis or other inflammatory reactions. Often times, children get better faster due to these natural immune reactions.
Always see your healthcare professional for any concerning symptoms. And remember, our minds, bodies and spirits are all connected. Keep all well for total health.