This time of year, everyone’s schedule slows down a bit. But kids still get the everyday minor health ailments, such as headaches and insomnia from back-to-school pressures, and fever from colds and flu. Check out these natural, holistic remedies to ease minor symptoms.
- Aim for Arnica. Arnica Montana is a natural, herbal anti-inflammatory available in chewable pill form and as a cream. You can apply the topical gel cream to the forehead to relieve headache pain. Also rub the cream along your child’s neck and shoulders to relieve tension. In a recent study in Rheumatology International, the anti-inflammatory effect of Arnica gel was found to be as effective as ibuprofen gel. It is available online and in health-food stores.
- Drink up. The next time your child complains of a headache, have him drink a glass of water, and lie down to relax. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can cause headaches. Water is pure hydration, with no calories, sugar (real or artificial), artificial food colors, additives, or caffeine.
- Note: Call your doctor immediately if headache becomes severe, if it lasts more than 24 hours despite treatment, or is accompanied with the following: vomiting, fainting, confused thinking, slurred speech, and blurred or double vision.
- Spritz with Lavender. If your child has trouble falling asleep at night, spritz her pillow case with lavender spray. You can also apply a few drops of essential lavender oil to her pillow case, bed sheets, or blankie. At bath time, use lavender bubble bath, or pour lavender oil in to your child’s bathwater just before bedtime. Lavender promotes a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Even diluted concentrations of essential lavender oil can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone.
- Make it Bergamot. If your child has a low-grade fever due to a cold or the flu, rub him with Bergamot oil. Bergamot oil is a natural antiseptic, and can fight the infection, whether it is viral or bacterial. When dealing with fever, also make sure he is well-hydrated with water. Bergamot oil is available online, and in health-food stores.
- Note: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, here’s when you should call the pediatrician: if your child is two months or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or higher; if he is between three and six months of age and has a fever of 101 or higher; if she is older than six months and has a fever of 103 or higher, or if she has febrile convulsions (seizure).
Show Some Love
- During the early years of a child’s life, genuine love and appropriate physical contact play a vital role in their overall health and well-being. In fact, numerous studies indicate that children that are shown affection (appropriately) through hugs and kisses from their parents/caregivers enjoy better health and growth (both mental and physical). Human touch is powerful. Hug and kiss your children every chance you get.
By Maureen Sangiorgio