3 Things to Avoid When Your Child is Sick
I talk a lot with the parents of my patients about breaking the cycle of chronic paediatric illness. I see lots of chronic upper respiratory infections, ear infections, coughs and colds. Here are 3 things I tell parents to avoid doing when their children are sick in order to prevent continued illness.
1) Going into panic mode. This is super common with parents of children who have a history of chronic illness. In my experience, it comes from the parent feeling like they don't know how to help their child, they'll never find answers, or their child will never recover. I am here to tell you that none of those fears are ultimately true. YOU, the parent, are the expert and advocate for your child. It is possible for you to become empowered with knowledge that will help your child return to wellness. That's where I can help. If you are reading this and thinking "yep, that's me", please reach out! There are many ways to work with me
2) Sending your child back to school or daycare too soon. This can be tough because of work schedules, but it truly makes a difference. Children often seem to feel better before the pathogen that caused their sickness has been fully eradicated. Sending children back to school/daycare while their immune system is still working overtime can lead to a backslide into the same sickness or increased susceptibility to other pathogens in their environment. Keep your child home where they can rest and where you can prevent overstimulation, exhaustion, and exposure to other pathogens...which can all lead to another round of illness.
3) Giving your child medications to make them feel better. This one sounds crazy, but hear me out. When a child is sick, the lowest amount of intervention that allows for recovery is BEST. This means doing things that support the body's ability to heal itself, rather than things that suppress or circumvent the immune response. Medications like fever reducers and pain relievers will make your child feel better in the short term, but feeling better won't encourage them to REST. The more energy they expend while sick, the more compromised their immune response becomes. The body is SO smart....there's a reason why sickness comes with symptoms like low energy, body aches, and fatigue. Allow your child's immune system to do the job it was made to do, and they'll be able to make a full and complete recovery.
Note: Western medications can relieve symptoms BUT often will cause pathogens to become trapped in the body. The next time your child's body is under any amount of stress (lack of sleep, high sugar intake, emotional stress, lifestyle/environmental change, etc) that pathogen will take the opportunity to strike again. This is one way that the cycle of chronic illness is perpetuated.
Avoiding these 3 pitfalls will put you on the right track to helping your child get well and STAY well.