We all know many children whom conventional medicine has provided great benefits, but we also know many children for whom conventional medicine has not worked. And sadly, we all know many children for whom conventional medicine has hurt…badly.
It is important for parents to know that most drugs are not adequately tested on children. They are tested on adults, and doctors estimate (rather “guesstimate”) the appropriate dose for children based on crude determinations such as their weight.
Worse still, a shockingly high percentage of children are prescribing two or more drugs concurrently. Whenever a doctor prescribes two or more drugs to your child (or to anyone), it is important to realize that little or no research has ever confirmed the safety or efficacy of such poly-pharmacy.
Ultimately, the high number of prescription drugs prescribed to children today and the serious side effects that they cause constitutes a type of “medical children abuse.” Although this is harsh, even very harsh language, the statistics confirm this serious problem.
From just 1995 to 2002 alone, the number of anti-psychotic medications prescribed for children increased five-fold (SFChronicle, 3-17-06). These drugs have been linked to causing severe hallucinations (SFC, 3-22-06) and even to suicide (SFC, 2-1-04). As a parent myself, it is shocking that safer methods are not exhausted before resorting to more dangerous drug therapies.
It is important to note that doctors are not the only source of the problem here. A 1999 survey of pediatricians reported that parents “always, most of the time, or often pressure them (pediatricians) to prescribe antibiotics when their children are ill but antibiotics are not indicated.”
What Parents Can Do…
In light of these and many other studies, one important action that parents can take to optimize your child’s immunity is to avoid prescription and OTC drugs except in medical emergencies. Remember the words of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, when he said, “First, do no harm.” This dictum was not just to doctors but to anyone who is treating sick people.
And here is where using homeopathic medicines can provide a REAL alternative. Because homeopathic medicines often provide a rapid result, these natural medicines are ideal for many common acute problems that your child may experience. The trick is to learn how to use homeopathic medicines. For self-care, you have two choices:
- Get a homeopathic guidebook (or two or three) that provides instruction on how to use homeopathic medicines (see the Resources section below for a list of some of the better guidebooks)
- Get a “homeopathic medicine kit” so that you can be ready to your kid at night and on weekend (when they tend to get sick) (check-out a wide selection at: www.homeopathic.com)
People generally get the best results when they use the guidebooks to select the individually indicated homeopathic medicine for your child’s unique pattern of symptoms. If, however, you cannot figure out which one remedy fits your child’s symptoms, I recommend that you consider using a homeopathic formula (these formulas make homeopathy very “user-friendly” because they include several of the most commonly indicated remedies for the specific ailment that your child is experiencing).
Based on homeopathic principles and experience, one of the ways that chronic diseases develop is by the suppression of acute ailments. Learn to use homeopathic medicines to treat common respiratory infections, sore throats, ear infections, influenza, allergies, and headaches. You will optimize your child’s immunity and prevent the development of chronic symptoms and syndromes by learning to treat and really cure simple acute ailments in your child.
The Limitations Of Homeopathic Self-Care
If your child gets recurrent ailments or if the same or similar symptoms keep returning, it is generally best to seek professional homeopathic care. It is also best to seek professional homeopathic care for the more serious pediatric ailments, including but not limited to high fevers (103 and higher), asthma, ADD/ADHD (or significant behavioral problems), and genetically inherited conditions.
Homeopaths are specifically trained to prescribe high-potency homeopathic “constitutional medicines.” These highly individually selected medicines are prescribed for your child’s unique genetic, physical, and psychological state, and 200+ years of experience using homeopathic medicines have found that these medicines can powerfully strengthen a child’s immune and defense system.
If you do not know a homeopath in your area, you might find someone nearby by going to:
- www.homeopathic.com (they provide a free list, upon request, with any book order)
Homeopathic Guidebooks for Family Medicine:
- Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH, The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2006
- Stephen Cummings, MD, and Dana Ullman, MPH, Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2004
- Dana Ullman, MPH, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1994
Dana Ullman, MPH is the author of 9 books on homeopathic medicines, including Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants and his newest book The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. His website, www.homeopathic.com, is a rich source of information and resources on homeopathy.