Integrating Natural Care

Written by Randall Neustaedter OMD, LAc, CCH   
Thursday, 07 May 2009 08:59
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Excerpt from Child Health Guide: Natural treatment for kids

The role of conventional medical care

Babies need medical check-ups, approximately every three months in the first year, then less frequently as children grow, once a year after two years old. A health care provider with an understanding of child development and pediatric medical problems needs to perform these. This may be a pediatrician, family practice doctor, naturopathic doctor, or other appropriately trained medical professional. The reason for these check-ups is that problems may become evident that were not present or obvious at a baby's birth. Vision and hearing need to be checked, and blood tests for anemia and lead are often appropriate. Medical providers sometimes discover excessive wax or fluid in children's ears, hip or back problems, and genital abnormalities, none of which may be obvious to even the most attentive of parents.

Routine diagnostic exams usually entail no invasive procedures or present any risk to children. However, vaccinations usually accompany well-baby checks at the pediatrician's office. You should be prepared with your questions and concerns about vaccines. It is certainly helpful if you have reached a decision about the vaccines you feel are appropriate for your child. Or you can inform the pediatrician that you are considering the issues related to vaccines and you would prefer to postpone the decision until your child has reached twelve months of age when the immune system and nervous system are less susceptible to the potential toxic effects of vaccines. This will give you a chance to carefully study the issues and reach an informed decision, rather than being rushed into acquiescence at the two-month baby visit.

Even when your pediatrician discovers a medical problem, you can still investigate alternatives to conventional treatment. If you have found a doctor who respects your desire to pursue the most natural and gentle forms of treatment possible, then communication can be open. You can utilize your pediatrician for information. Does my child have pneumonia? Are her eardrums red? Then you can decide what to do. Thank you, we will take the prescription for antibiotics and use them if it becomes necessary, but we'd rather try a more natural approach first. Some health problems require immediate conventional care, a broken bone, a severe asthma attack, but with most symptoms you can take a watchful, waiting attitude while you pursue natural methods of care that do not involve a risk of side effects. A good book that delineates those times when you should seek professional care will provide added confidence to manage your child's symptoms at home.

Keep in mind the limited role of conventional medical treatment - relief of symptoms with drugs, saving life in emergencies, and managing essentially physical problems (casts and stitches). Conventional drugs have side effects because they attempt to stop the body from developing symptoms, interfering with natural healing processes. The body inevitably interprets drugs as toxic substances that need to be metabolized and expelled. Sometimes the chemicals in drugs or vaccines are so toxic that they cause cellular and tissue damage that can be irreversible. Parents must seek natural healing systems to find curative and safe treatment.