Hello, it’s Sunday again!
Also, September, I am not to happy with you. Just needed to get the off my chest.
Okay, so if you are sitting there thinking “What the heck is ControverSunday?” then go check out the ControverSunday page I put together (with a lot of copying and pasting from Perpetua’s ControverSunday page; the original). And to answer your first question, yes, please join in!
So in my “about me” page I state that I am a ‘preferer of natural things’. (Yes, I know preferer is not a word, but I like to make up words. Humor me.). This is applies to food, materials used to make toys, body care products, ect. ect. It also applies to medicine. Especially for kids.
There is no doubt in my mind that we have some wonderful, life saving and absolutely essential tools in our traditional medicine tool kit. We have had a vaccination ContoverSunday before, and while the ‘extra’ stuff in the vaccine and how close and often give those shots to our kids makes me somewhat uncomfortable, I have no doubt in my mind that vaccinations saved millions and millions of lives.
Antibiotics are no different. They are truly an amazing category of medicine and without them…. well not good. But like vaccines I am somewhat uncomfortable with the way they are used in our society. Especially for kids. This feeling I have is 100% informed by personal experience. I had A LOT of infections when I was a kid. Ear, tonsillitis, bladder and sinus. I drank down that banana flavoured liquid a lot. My mother probably has a better perspective on this and maybe it wasn’t all that out of line with what most kids experience, but it seems to me that I was sick and taking antibiotics really often.
I am pretty sure I have written about this part of the story before on this blog, so I will do a coles notes version now. When I was in University I had a sinus infection about once every 3-4 months. For a couple years straight. And then. Someone, I can’t remember who, suggested I take probiotic supplements. That is an increased concentration of the bacteria in yogurt, its purpose is to repopulate your gut with good bacteria and thereby increasing your immune system strength. Viola- not one sinus infection since. I can’t believe that for years doctors just kept on writing me prescriptions for antibiotics and I kept getting sick and not one knew enough about ‘natural’ approaches to suggest something so simple and safe.
Audrey has been taking ‘infant’ probiotics since she was 3 months old. And I am a BIG believer in them.
So I am all for natural remedies for kids. In addition to Audrey’s probiotics, we have also given her a bunch of those homeopathic remedies. Teething, colic, ear ache, ect. I have no idea if they ‘worked’ or she just got better. But our family doctor’s Dad was a homeopathic doctor and she says she had homeopathic remedies all the time as a kid and they seemed to work. At the least they cause no harm.
Now that can’t be said for all natural remedies, I am very aware that just because it is ‘natural’ does not mean it is safe. Many herbs can have a very big impact on your system and if they class with a prescription drug you are taking or if you take then in incorrect doses- not good. But that is also why I STRONGLY believe they should be regulated and brought into the traditional health care system. I believe doctors should know about them and use them, rather then you having to go and see a separate naturopathic doctor. I believe our health care system needs to embrace, study, understand and properly administer natural supplements along with traditional medicines, where appropriate. I know this is unlike, what with the power of drug companies. But it is still my belief.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I don’t like giving Audrey medicine if I can avoid it. We, under close doctor supervision, waited out her first ear infection, because her fever was only very mild and we wanted to avoid antibiotics if possible unless she really needed them. I do believe that we need to be more conservative with our use of medicines so kids can build strong immune systems.
I have one exception. Advil. Remember in my topic announcement I asked if you were ‘fast and easy with the pediatric advil’? I was referring to myself. And it is something that both my husband and I feel great internal conflict over. Great internal conflict. We give Audrey advil too much. I will admit that. I am sure she doesn’t need it as often as we give it to her. But here is the thing. (Not an excuse, just an honest explanation of our thought process). Teething sucks. And those teeth just don’t stop coming. And when she is really worked up we can’t know for sure if she is in pain or if she is just grumpy because, well, she is a toddler. (Same thing for when she was an infant.) So we err on the side of ‘she is probably hurting’ and give her the advil. Don’t worry, it is not a daily thing. But just often enough that I feel guilty about it (ah parenthood). I know we shouldn’t. We are trying to teach her how to say “ow” and explain what that means so maybe we can understand when she is really in pain or not. I don’t know.
But I have confessed now so I feel better.
So, overall, I like to try ‘natural approaches’, even if it is just a bowl of homemade chicken soup, before we go for the medicines. But, if medicines are necessary, then we go for it. Thank goodness we have those options. But I approach it all with some skepticism. After all, a healthy dose of skepticism is good for us all, I think.