A 2008 study in Pediatrics reports a significant increase in drug prescriptions for our children. From 2002 to 2005, prescription medicines to treat Type 2 diabetes in kids doubled, children’s asthma drugs rose by over 46 percent, medicines offered for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder increased by more than 40 percent, and controversial prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering meds for children rose 15 percent.
Hippocrates’ dictum, “First, do no harm,” is especially crucial when treating infants and children. Most drugs have not been adequately tested among these age groups, so could mainstream medicine be committing “medical child abuse” by overprescribing powerful drugs for our precious youngsters? Homeopathic medicines (minute, diluted doses of natural substances) offer a safer alternative.
Homeopathic Kids’ Kit
Homeopathic Arnica is one medicine that belongs in every household. Mothers may take Arnica during labor because it’s helpful for the shock and trauma of childbirth. This use conveys a safe remedy to the baby through the umbilical cord and then through the mother’s milk. Arnica is also important to have around for the minor accidents and injuries that are a normal part of growing up. Consider homeopathic Arnica for bumps, bruises, and muscle sprains or strains.
Chamomilla is the leading homeopathic medicine for teething and colic, especially when the infant is extremely irritable, demands something only to push it away once it’s offered, and desires to be held and rocked. Chamomilla can also be used for common ear infections when the infant or child is easily upset and when being held and rocked provides only temporary relief.
Belladonna is another important homeopathic medicine to have available because it’s useful for the sudden and sometimes high fevers of infants and children. Belladonna is made from deadly nightshade—a dangerous plant in whole, herbal form—but is safe in exceptionally diluted homeopathic doses. In homeopathic form, it may help little ones who experience nightmares or who have night terrors. Homeopathic Belladonna is also useful during ear infections where the ear is very red, the face is flushed, and the child experiences fright.
Pulsatilla is commonly used for a wide variety of complaints, ranging from ear infections and digestive problems to respiratory ailments. The infants and children who benefit from this important homeopathic medicine tend to have gentle, mild, and yielding personalities and often seek sympathy; their weeping beckons parents to hold and cradle them. Little or no thirst accompanies a fever, but children tend to desire open air; they may be warm enough to prefer few clothes and even throw off covers at night.
Use and Dosage
These homeopathic medicines are recommended for internal consumption and are generally prescribed in the 6th, 12th, or 30th potency. (Unlike conventional medicines, homeopathic dosages are not dependent on size or weight, and overdose is not a concern.) Ideally, use the 30th potency if you are confident that the medicine is the right one for your child and the 6th potency if you are less confident. The 12th potency falls in between. That said, it’s advisable to use whatever potency you have on hand at the time, rather than delay giving a homeopathic medicine to your child.