RECOGNIZING A SICK INFANT

All things being equal, children, and infants in particular, have remarkable powers of recovery if left to themselves. Medical intervention should be sought in only a few of the common childhood conditions. Conversely, a sick child can deteriorate very rapidly. The skill of good parenting is to know which conditions should be treated at home and when you should seek expert consultation.

I hope that all alternative practitioners will agree when I say that our training with regard to children is generally poor. I am very grateful that I spent large chunks of time, when I was in medical school and after, in paediatric wards. The principles with which a child is treated are much the same as those of an adult but children are much more sensitive, especially to complementary medicines, and can go downhill at a rapid rate. Practitioners who have not had children themselves and who lack teaching or experience in dealing with children can underestimate the speed with which a child can develop a serious problem. This creates a paradox for parents. We would like our children brought up as drug-free as possible but we need to be wary that an alternative practitioner may not have the experience to deal with our child. We wish to avoid medication but do not wish to miss a diagnosis. not repair. A whining infant may be uncomfortable but, as a general rule, is not ill. Infants with conditions that require treatment are generally: floppy sleeping a lot not interested in their food motionless persistent with their symptoms

A child who may be screaming and fractious interspersed with periods of normality, is generally likely to recover quickly. Fevers up to 100°F, blocked and running noses, coughs and most rashes may seem aggressive and worry the parents but if the child is up and about, rarely does this indicate a severe condition.

RECOMMENDATION

If you have any doubts whatsoever, obtain your doctor’s opinion.

GENERAL

RECOMMENDATIONS

Do not hesitate to obtain the opinion of an experienced GP or paediatrician if your child is not well.

Once you have established that the child is not seriously ill, utilize alternative treatments for 24hr before subscribing to orthodox medicines.

RECOGNIZING AN ILL INFANT

Parents, especially first-time parents, often have the preconception that symptoms represent illness and

ACCIDENTS

An accident, by definition, is supposedly out of our control and is an event that occurred purely by chance. This may not always be the case. An accident-prone child may have medical conditions that are treatable. For example, more road traffic accidents occur in the early hours of the morning and 2 hours after lunch. This strongly suggests that tiredness and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) are instrumental. Certain diets predispose to hypoglycaemia and accident-prone children may well have too much refined sugar in their diets.

Children who feel under pressure to perform may also overextend their capabilities and bodies to impress demanding friends and family, and this can be dealt with from a psychological angle.

Hyperactivity, usually diet-related, brings to mind the adage ‘act in haste, repent at leisure’. This is often the case with injuries to overactive children. Poor concentration may result in accidents and may be directly related to dietary deficiencies and food intolerances.

Reduce sugars and obtain dietetic advice from a nutritionist for any accident-prone child. Food intolerance/allergy testing may be required.

If diet is not in question, seek the opinion of a child psychologist or art therapist.

Suspect additive/preservative sensitivity leading to hyperactivity in accident-prone children.

ASPHYXIA

Asphyxia is the inability of an individual to breathe due to obstruction of the airways. See Resuscitation of Infant or Child. This is a procedure that all adults should learn.

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