Modern families solve most of their minor medical problems by heading to the nearest doctor's office or pharmacy; yet is it truly necessary to slather our children with synthetic medicines for every scrape and scratch? Whether it be with antibiotics, antiseptics, or behavior modification medication, the overuse of prescription drugs is making the news daily.
Parents can and should trust their doctors to provide critical care for their children. But they must also realize that there are some things a doctor won't tell you. While modern medicine has its place in treating major illnesses or trauma cases, many simple childhood aches and pains can be eased with ingredients provided by Mother Nature and found at your local health food store.
By creating a basket of natural healing products to have on hand, you can be prepared to treat your child's next minor illness or injury with some soothing natural remedies. Following are some suggestions for stocking up on natural healing supplies.
Essential Oils and Creams
Note: essential oils should always be diluted before use
- Lavender oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and myriad uses. Try putting a drop or two into a warm bath for soothing the aches that come with a cold or flu. Apply diluted lavender oil topically for minor burns.
- Homeopathic Arnica spray provides relief for bumps and bruises without someone having to touch the tender area.
- Calendula cream can be rubbed into rashes, scrapes, or minor burns. It can also be used along with gentle massage to ease growing pains.
- Hypericum salve or gel works well for any injury to areas rich in nerves such as fingers and toes. /br>
- Tea Tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It can be used for treating dandruff, cleaning cuts or even as a deodorant. It will also repel ticks and lice without harsh chemicals. Add a drop or two of Tea Tree oil to a glass of water and soak your toothbrushes to keep them germ free.
- Eucalyptus chest rub can ease the discomforts of colds and the coughing that often accompanies this common ailment.
- Aloe Vera gel cools sunburns. Buy it prepared or grow an aloe plant in a sunny window. Break off a leaf to release the gel for soothing minor hurts and burns. The idea of using a leaf to cure an ailment seems to appeal to children, therefore making this a treatment that will cure just about any minor ailment that is imagined to be worse than it really is.
- Chamomile tea soothes the nervous system and induces sleep. Try steeping some chamomile tea to help settle a child after a tantrum. The wet teabags can be used to soothe sunburn.
- Echinacea helps to boost the immune system. Some people don't react well to echinacea, so check with your child's physician first. If he or she gives it the "OK," keep Echinacea gummy bears on hand to aid colds and flu.
- Rescue remedy (a Bach Flower remedy) can be taken to help deal with shock, stress, or unsettling events. Several drops in a warm bath will soothe an upset child. A few drops on the tongue can help a child deal with a difficult situation.
- Dark colored washcloths for cleaning scrapes or cuts that are bleeding. The dark color makes it difficult for the patient to see the sometimes-frightening blood.
- A vaporizer can help nighttime coughs. Add a little eucalyptus oil to the water for decongestant purposes.
- Create your own "sting stop" by blending three drops each of eucalyptus oil, thyme oil and lavender oil into a bowl of water. Bathe insect bites with a washcloth dipped into the blend.
- A small vial filled with rock salt and a few drops of Eucalyptus oil can be used to sniff as a decongestant.
- Bandages in a variety of shapes and sizes. Colorful patterns or pictures are always a good distraction.
- Tweezers for splinters
- Cotton swabs
- A bundle of calming dried lavender can be included in your supply basket for your child to hold.
- Frozen ice pops should always be kept on hand. Unopened, they can be used to hold on the injured area. Once the injury stops hurting, your child can eat the ice pop which amazingly seems to hasten the healing process!
- A favorite book for reading while snuggling with a loved one.
- A special stuffed animal that comes out only in case of injury.
Keep in mind that "natural" doesn't necessarily mean "safe." What is harmless for one child may be unsafe for another. As always, check with your health care provider to confirm appropriate treatment.