Anyone who knows me knows that my kids are ALWAYS sick. Laura-Leigh (5) is the strongest of the three, Jamie and Ryan pick up EVERYTHING. Ryan (2) has a consistent runny nose. I am constantly cancelling playdates as generally someone is sick, and I jokingly call myself Florence Nightingale.
There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding viral infections, so hopefully this article will help parents understand them better.
Firstly, what is a viral Infection?
A viral infection is a disease that can be caused by different kinds of viruses, of which the influenza-virus is best known. A viral infection can be in different places in the body, some viruses are mainly in the intestine, while others prefer the lungs and airways. Viral infections can cause illnesses as minor as the common cold (common because we get them so regularly!).
Secondly, what can we do to reduce the chances of our kids getting viral infections?
I have done a little research on how Moms can improve their kids’ immune systems and fight these annoying viruses and here is what I have learned:
- You’ve guessed it right, top of the list is to eat properly. Have a healthy varied diet of nutrient dense foods. Eat lots of fresh colourful fruit and vegetable daily. Ensure your kids have a balanced diet. A trick to entice little ones to eat healthfully is to make them interesting by making shapes. Avoid both processed food and sugar or keep them to a minimum. The term “processed food” applies to any food that has been altered from its natural state in any way, either for safety reasons or convenience. We are living in a world of processed food. Examples of processed food are the common breakfast cereal, tinned vegetables/soup, bread, cheese, chips, pop. The list goes on. Scary isn’t it?
- Your kids are most likely not getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet alone. To this end ensure you give your kids a daily multivitamin. Vitamin A & D are vitally important to the immune system. Another product to consider is a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. My youngest vomited nearly every day from 6 to about 10 months. It was horrible and he also suffered with desperate constipation. My friend whom I fondly call "Dr. Quinn Medicine woman" suggested both a probiotic and coconut water. Both helped immensely. I think it’s important to recognize that every child is different. When Ryan contracted the Rotavirus I honestly think the fact he drinks Coconut Water (and actually likes the taste) kept him at home and out of hospital. Coconut water naturally hydrates the body.
- ImmunoSTART from Mannatech was highly recommended by one
Mom. The reviews on its website state
that this product is a big help in fighting colds and viruses. You take the product as soon as you feel the
signs of a cold and it helps build your system to fight this pesky virus. This is a product I am going to try out - hopefully
the doctor might see us less
- Another product to be aware of is
Echinacea & Goldenseal. The former
ingredient is one of the most commonly prescribed botanicals for the immune system. German researchers have found the extract of Echinacea
to have anti-viral activity against the influenza pathogen. The latter soothes the mucous membranes of
the respiratory tract during the congestion and inflammation of colds and flues.
- A product mentioned was Juice Plus+, this is a line of
dietary supplements containing concentrated fruit and vegetables extracts
fortified with added vitamins and nutrients.
Like any product there are the advocates of whom I know a few and those
that think they are a waste of money. As
a mother of three young kids whom contract constant viral infections, I wouldn’t
be adverse to trying them myself and to make an informed decision.
- Regular hand washing.
- Active life style – Let them run and play both in and
- Ensure they drink lots and lots of water.
- Lots of good sound sleep.
- Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in
1796 (it’s around a while) and is based on the doctrine of like cures
like. What do I mean by that? A substance that causes the symptoms of a
disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. I have a friend whom is a huge advocate of
Homeopathy and she kindly gave me a homeopathy kit 12 months ago. I have used some of the remedies and it has
shown results for me. Ryan, the little
one, who has the proverbial head cold, showed signs of a new cold last week. Not only did I wipe his tap of a nose on day
one, but I also started to give him aconite and I found that his nose started to
dry up. I think most of us are familiar
with the remedy arnica which really does help with bruising. Homeopathy is a safe, gently and natural system
of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself and
improve your overall health.
- Essential Oils- this a new area for me but I am very interested in learning more. Here is a quick synopsis. An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and by having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. Like Homeopathy, you either believe in the benefits of it or you don’t. Essential oils have been used medicinally in history. Like homeopathy, it has a long past. There appears to be two main providers of essential oils namely doTerra & Young Living Essential Oils.
At bedtime the other night Jamie (3) said to me “Mommy, I’m sick, can Daddy bring me to the doctors to get fixed?” Writing this blog has inspired me to do my utmost to fix him without the doctor.
Never a dull moment in this house.
And Let’s beat these viruses!!!