Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child

We’ve been using this book for nearly two years. We bought it because we were tired of having to resort to Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen for all of our now three-year-old son’s ailments. It’s written by a practitioner of natural medicine, a medical doctor and a pediatric nurse. Since the three authors each contribute her/his respective specialties, Smart Medicine offers remedies in various forms, from conventional treatments to more holistic ones such as homeopathy and acupressure.

Its excellent content paired with Smart Medicine’s practical organization is what makes it better than similar books. The entire volume is a concise A-to-Z reference guide for common childhood illnesses and symptoms, broken down into sections of treatments, supplements, homeopathy, general recommendations and prevention. Dosage charts are clearly laid out and simple to follow. (It’s even become our go-to book for ourselves because the age-appropriate dosage guideline makes it easy to calculate for all ages.)

It’s such a great all-in-one guide, we don’t need any other books on the subject. We love this book so much, we give or recommend it to new parents who are looking for alternative choices and ways to play a greater, more informed role, in their child’s healthcare.

-- Afroza Mannan  

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, 2nd edition
Janet Zand, Robert Rountree, Rachel Walton
2003, 576 pages
$17

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

Colic: Dietary Guidelines

If you are breastfeeding and your infant suffers from colic, he may be sensitive to something you are eating. The most common offenders are diary products, chocolate, caffeine, melons, cucumbers, peppers, citrus fruits and juices, and spicy foods. There’s a good chance that you yourself may have hidden allergies to certain foods. To track down food allergies, try an elimination or rotation diet…. Following these diets may seem like an overwhelming task, but the results can be very worthwhile. An alternative is to keep an ongoing food diary to help you identify correspondences between the foods you eat and symptoms, both your baby’s and your own. If you discover a hidden sensitivity that you hadn’t suspected, simply avoiding that food will likely help you feel better and alleviate your baby’s colic as well.

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Common Cold

Begin treating your child’s cold as soon as you notice the first symptom.

At the first sign that your child may be developing a cold, begin giving her an Echinacea and Goldenseal combination formula.

Most children instinctively sleep and rest when suffering through a cold, thus conserving energy to fight the virus. A cozy bed and an open window bringing in fresh air (when weather permits) usually help. Be sure your child doesn’t get chilled.

Because babies tend to breathe through their noses, an infant may have particular difficulty breathing with a congested nose. To ease your baby’s breathing, use a very small rubber bulb to gently suction out mucus. You can get these at most drugstores.

A nasal saline irrigation, followed by the suctioning out of mucus with a bulb syringe, can be very effective for loosening and removing thick mucus. This is especially important for infants, who may have a hard time getting mucus out of their noses or throats. (See NASAL SALINE FLUSH in Part Three.)

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Diarrhea

Be sure your child is taking adequate fluids. When a small body is losing fluids as rapidly as it does with diarrhea, dehydration is a very serious concern. If you are not comfortable with the progress your child is making, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

If your child has repeated episodes of diarrhea, rest the gastrointestinal tract as much as possible. To avoid dehydration, give her repeated small sips of water, miso soup, or diluted fruit juices.

Make a rice or barley water formula by boiling ½ cup of brown rice or barley in 1 quart of spring water. Once the rice or barley is cooked, pour off the water and let your child drink it in small sips. This nourishing broth is widely used throughout the world. You can also use cream of rice cereal prepared with twice the normal amount of water, or a commercial formula called CeraLyte, which is made from rice and is good for diarrhea in child of all ages.

Do not offer your child food until she signals readiness to eat. If your child is hungry. Give her simple, easily digested foods.

Give your child slippery elm paste or umeboshi plum and kuzu root cream.

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Sinusitis

Use nasal saline flushes to cleanse the sinuses and thin mucus. You can do this four to six times a day, as needed.

In a case of chronic sinusitis, eliminate all dairy products for two weeks and monitor your child’s overall level of congestion throughout this period. If there is a significant improvement, this is a good indication of a sensitivity or allergy to dairy products.

A warm, moist compress of water and ginger root placed over the sinuses helps to drain the area and relieve congestion. Grate a large ginger root into a pot containing 1 pint of water and simmer for fifteen minutes. Use the resulting teas to make a hot compress.