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It’s normal to be worried if your kiddo comes down with the sniffles or has been around other sick kids. Kids usually can get over typical childhood illnesses pretty quickly, but there are some useful products and tips to keep on hand that can help support the immune system.
1.Elderberry Syrup — Elderberry syrup contains anthocyandins, which stimulate the immune system. Elderberry syrup is generally safe for kids over the age of 1. Take the recommended dose per package instructions (based on age) twice per day for the duration of illness or until concerns about exposure have passed. If mom is nursing, she can take the recommended adult dosage and baby will get her dose through the breastmilk. If your child gets sick frequently or has PANS/PANDAS concerns, she can take the recommended dose per package instructions once per day on an ongoing basis; increase the dose to twice per day during illness or times of exposure. (Gaia Herbs makes one of my faves: https://amzn.to/2JhzyQb)
2.Echinacea Tincture — Echinacea increases white blood cell production, which confers an immune system boost. It’s generally safe for kids over the age of 6 months. Take the recommended dose per package instructions (based on age and/or weight) once per day for 14 days. Taking for longer than 14 days can reduce its efficacy. If mom is nursing, she can take the recommended adult dosage and baby will get her dose through the breastmilk. (I like Gaia Herbs for this product, too: https://amzn.to/2FYrh1y or https://amzn.to/30nKjX7)
3.Zinc — Zinc activates T cells (control immune responses and attack infected cells), decreases the length of the common cold, and can prevent secondary infections while the immune system is fighting off the first infection. Zinc supplementation is generally safe for kids over age 4. Take the recommended dose per package instructions (based on age) twice per day for 14 days. If mom is nursing, she can take the recommended adult dosage and baby will get her dose through the breastmilk. If your child has been diagnosed with a zinc deficiency and is supplementing regularly, discuss with your healthcare provider to see if you may wish to slightly increase her dosage for a couple of weeks if she’s sick. (Pure Encapsulations makes an awesome Zinc Liquid that is available through many healthcare providers.)
4.Other Considerations — For families that I’m working with, I often recommend high doses of Vitamin A (a strong antiviral) and Vitamin C (prevents secondary infections). We may also look at other herbal options such as teas, baths, or poultices depending on what the child’s symptom pattern looks like. In addition, if you’ve visited your pediatrician for a definitive diagnosis, then we can add in homeopathic remedies for that specific illness.
Your pediatrician is an amazing resource to tap into when you have a sick kiddo. If your pediatrician finds that medical intervention is necessary, you can continue more natural immune support along with their prescriptions. If your pediatrician prescribes antibiotics, it’s important to take them exactly as prescribed to avoid drug resistance in the future. In addition, you can add in a double dose of probiotics for the duration of the antibiotic plus 10 days. Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to have an extra protective effect during antibiotic use, so you can either add in a single strain product to your normal probiotic or keep a multi strain product that includes Saccharomyces boulardii on hand to use in these instances. Definitely get to the pediatrician’s office or urgent care if any of the following are true: fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit; you suspect flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, chicken pox, measles, mumps, or Rubella; or the symptoms do not improve after 1 week of home care.
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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical advice.