As the mom of two boys with asthma who have had to endure their fair share of steroid cycles, antibiotic courses, and late-night urgent care visits, I know firsthand how painful it is to watch your child suffer. While their doctors have become more inclined to prescribe medications at the drop of a hat to fix even the smallest of ailments, I've become certain that we need to avoid them at all costs.
Bacterial resistance can happen when antibiotics are overused, steroids can cause an increase in aggressive behavior, and even over-the-counter cough syrups can result in severe breathing problems. Instead of constantly feeding my kids drugs that really only mask the problems, I try to find a way to heal from within by using holistic treatments and natural remedies.
While I'm not saying you should avoid medication at all costs — I'm not a doctor and you should always use common sense when dealing with sick children — I work hard to avoid getting to that critical point where there is no choice left but to start pharmaceutical drugs. Since my children's asthma seems triggered mostly after the start of a minor cold, I now try to stop a cold from ever starting — the same philosophy I use for all sicknesses. These are the tried-and-true measures I take to boost my children's immune systems:
- CLEARinse Nasal Cleaning: I make my boys do nasal rinses every night, especially during high flu or allergy season. Not only does nasal cleaning flush out germs and debris, but it's also a drug-free solution to keep colds at bay.
- Zoganic Supplements: These give my kids an immunity boost, especially since vitamin C is known to be such a stellar antioxidant.
- BIOHM Children's Probiotics: Probiotics work to stimulate the immune system with friendly bacteria. This probiotic has a powerful enzyme that helps to break down digestive plaque and cultivates gut balance for kids.
- Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey: Known for its medical properties, Manuka honey comes from New Zealand bees that pollinate the Manuka bush. It contains a higher concentration of methylgloxal, a compound that handles a body's antibacterial responses. I give my children a teaspoon each every day.
- Healthworks Turmeric Root Powder: Turmeric is a very popular south Asian spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains a good dose of vitamin B6, which helps strengthen the body's immune responses. I usually sneak a pinch of this into my kids' oatmeal bowls.
As is bound to happen, my kids do occasionally get sick, though the frequency and intensity of the illnesses are much more manageable. Once my kids have gotten sick, I double-down and use the following things to get rid of the germs ASAP:
- Nature's Way Elderberry Syrup: This herb is known for it's antioxidant-laden and immune-strengthening properties that also reduce inflammation. It's a great alternative to over-the-counter cough syrups or allergy medicine, and I'll typically give my kids a teaspoon at bedtime during peak flu season.
- Nature's Baby Ah-Choo Chest Rub: I use this eucalyptus rub on my kiddos when they're suffering from chest or nasal congestion.
- Oilogic Slumber and Sleep Essential Oils: These are great to use for any minor ailments because the essential oils soothe and help your child drift off to sleep. I recently used this on my toddler who was having shin pains from a growth spurt, and a friend uses it to help her teething daughter.
- Lolleez Throat-Soothing Lollipops: These are a fun alternative that even kids will enjoy! I love that these are organic and contain honey to help soothe the kiddos when they're up coughing all night.
- Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar: This is a great remedy to help bring down mild fevers. Simply soak a little bit on a washcloth and place it on your child's forehead. They won't be crazy about the smell, but it's a great alternative to ibuprofen.
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