The FDA and CDC have recently reported that there has been an increase in febrile seizures following flu vaccination of children under 2 years old. Even so, the CDC still recommends this flu vaccine yearly for all infants and children between six and twenty-three months of age. It asserts that this is the best way to protect these children from the flu.
I would like to suggest that there is much more we can do to help our children deal well with the challenges of the yearly flu. The flu has been around forever, and the vast majority of children suffer no serious consequences from exposure to it.
Less than 0.1 % of children with the flue require hospitalization.
According to the CDC, 9 in 10,000 children require hospitalization for the flu each season. That leaves 9,991 children who do not.
Why do these children require vaccination for the flu as well? Moreover, who are the nine children who end up in the hospital with the flu? What are their health profiles? How well nourished are they? What previous illnesses, medications, and/or medical procedures are part of their health history?
A healthy body provides protection from the flu.
So, how can we boost our children’s resistance to the flu, as well as other infectious diseases? Here are some suggestions:
Breast feeding boosts the infant’s immune system.
Healthy nutrition: children need healthy food. That means age appropriate foods. The digestive system of infants and small children is not equipped to process adult food.
Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits should be part of the daily menu, as they build healthy tissue and support the body’s metabolism and immune system. Dairy should be kept to a minimum, as should meat.
Avoid processed foods with their food additives, such as artificial food coloring, artificial flavoring, preservatives, and fillers. Moreover, much of the vitality so prevalent in fresh vegetables and fruits is processed right out of these foods.
The act of eating: small children don’t know yet how to chew properly, so cut up their food into small pieces, thus making more surface area available for the digestive enzymes to work on. Don’t rush them. Having sufficient time to eat allows all the digestive enzymes (beginning in the mouth) to do their job. This facilitates digestion and keeps undigested food particles to a minimum.
Being calm while eating: don’t stress a child about eating. A child should never be forced to eat particular foods or particular amounts of it. Stress of any kind (including fighting at the dinner table) interferes with digestion and increases the amount of undigested food, setting the child up for an irritated and inflamed digestive tract, more vulnerable to developing food allergies.
Cook your own food: the skin and the mucus linings of the digestive tract and airways are our first line of defense. They keep bacteria, viruses, and parasites from invading our bodies. However, processed foods, and undigested food particles, as well as food additives, that irritate the digestive tract, cause injury to this protective lining, thus lessening the child’s resistance to intestinal flu.
Use antibiotics as a last resort: antibiotics, although sometimes needed to fight an infection, are known to wreak havoc with the digestive tract by destroying bad, as well as good bacteria that reside in the digestive tract. However, good bacteria are needed to keep parasites and fungal infections at bay.
Repopulating the intestinal tract with probiotics during, and for several weeks following, the use of antibiotics may keep the damage to a minimum.
Protect your child from air pollution: exposure to cigarette smoke, chemicals and dust from house remodeling, mildew, and strong perfumes all cause irritation to the protective mucus lining of the respiratory tract (nose, trachea, bronchi), as well as the lungs themselves.
This increases vulnerability to respiratory infections such as the flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia, as well as asthma. Hence, minimize your child’s exposure to these irritants.
Children need to be outdoors: fresh air brings lots of oxygen to the blood via the lungs, and exercise helps to move that freshly oxygenated blood through all the tissues of the body. As the blood circulates, it also brings nutrients to all the tissues, and removes metabolic and foreign toxins via the lungs as well as the kidneys (filtration of blood occurs in the kidneys).
The message is: don’t allow your children to sit around the house all day. Take them outdoors to playgrounds, parks, or the zoo.
Treat children with care, kindness, and respect. Happy children are healthy children.
Until the next natural healing perspectives blog…