I love my kids, and I’m confident that I care about their health as much any parent. In fact, I’d argue that I care about their health more than the average person.
If I was striving for simplicity, I’d take my kids to the doctor every time they have any earache or snotty nose. But I’m not trying to find the most convenient, short-term solution – I’m attempting to raise truly healthy kids who aren’t compromised by a healthcare system that’s largely irresponsible and out of touch with what the human body needs.
So I treat my kids’ health problems at home.
Did you just roll your eyes? (Okay, maybe I’m projecting – but I get that response a lot.)
Yes, I avoid doctor’s offices whenever possible, because I feel like it’s safer and healthier to care for their ongoing health needs here at home. But before you tune me out and hit that back button, I’d like to tell you why.
Will you indulge me?
Why I Opt to Treat My Kids at Home
Let’s be clear about one thing – if my child breaks his arm or has a serious medical complication, I’m taking him straight to the emergency room. But when it comes to bumps, bruises, colds, viruses, and ongoing health issues, I’m taking the lead. Here’s why:
Doctor’s offices are germ reservoirs. Most people take their children to the doctor to help them get well. Unfortunately, their offices are filthy germ reservoirs that could make you and your child sicker than you were when you arrived! According to one University of Michigan study, antibiotic-resistant superbugs were discovered on the hands and nostrils of 14 percent of patients in two separate hospitals. Bacteria were also discovered on one-third of objects commonly used by patients and nurses.
Medical facilities are often irresponsible. Just recently, a hospital in South Bend, Indiana revealed that a shocking 1,182 of its patients may have been recklessly exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV viruses by contaminated surgical equipment. Unfortunately, reports like this are fairly common around the country. Medical facilities don’t always do the best at prioritizing patient safety.
Kids are more susceptible to medication side effects. Young children, pre-teens, and even teenagers experience stronger symptoms and side effects to medication. Their bodies and neurological systems are still going through key developmental stages and even trace amounts of certain drugs can lead to serious issues. As a result, giving out certain medications is a lot like playing Russian roulette.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I won’t go into further detail because I don’t want to risk sounding conspiratorial. I think these are three things most people can understand and accept. They also provide ample support for the idea of treating your children under your own roof.
7 Ways You Can Keep Your Kids Healthy
Homeopathic medicine, alternative care, Dr. Daddy – call it what you want, but it works. Here are some of the ways I vie to keep my kids healthy and happy without unnecessary doctor’s visits:
Prioritize Clean Eating
It’s so important for your kids to eat healthy. By weaning them off processed foods and encouraging them to eat clean, you can significantly improve their little immune systems and help them fight off sickness. Here are some suggestions:
Swap out fruit snacks for fresh grapes, strawberries, and raspberries
Swap out soda for flavored sparkling waters
Swap out greasy chips with pita chips and hummus
Swap out pre-packaged granola bars with your own homemade versions
This might sound like a ton of work, but it’s really not that difficult. It’s more about shifting your mindset and then teaching children to follow your lead.
Use Natural Remedies
There are plenty of natural remedies and substances you can use to deal with a variety of health issues and sicknesses. They include elderberry syrup, oregano oil, cinnamon, honey, and probiotics. The more you integrate these ingredients into your child’s daily diet, the better equipped they’ll be to fight off viruses and infections.
Ditch the Harsh Cleaning Products
It’s important to wash hands – particularly during cold and flu season – but don’t overdo it. Too much focus on hygiene actually prevents your child from building up their immune system. For best results, swap out antibacterial soaps and intense cleaners with natural alternatives.
Encourage Lots of Sleep
Your children need a lot more sleep than you do. Make sure you’re creating enough space in their schedules to help them get adequate rest. For example, children between the ages of one and three need 12-14 hours of sleep per day; three to six year-olds need 10-12 hours; and 7-12 year-olds need 10-11 hours.
Let Their Bodies Do the Work
When a child has a cold, sometimes the best strategy is to let it play out. While you can certainly offer things to make them feel better, don’t run out and get an antibiotic. Letting their immune system fight it off will strengthen them for the future.
Keep Kids Home When They’re Sick
When your child does get sick, make sure they stay home from school and other activities for a few days. Not only does this protect others from getting sick, but it also prevents them from catching a secondary virus or infection when their immune system is already taxed.
Have Lots of Fun
This might seem like a throwaway piece of advice, but it really is a practical suggestion. Your kids need to be kids. Let them have fun, even when it disrupts the peace and quiet inside your home. There’s ample evidence to suggest that laughter is the best medicine. The more they laugh, the stronger their immune systems become and the less sickness is able to take root.
Help Your Kids Stay Healthy
You don’t have to pretend to be a doctor, but you should educate yourself on some of the key principles and driving factors behind health and well-being. While a pediatrician’s office might be convenient, it’s not always your best option. If you’re honest with yourself, caring for your children in your own house is sometimes the safest bet.