Last Updated on September 14, 2020
It’s important to build up children’s immunity and gut health from an early age. I’d also like to share my thoughts on using antibiotics in children.
I have four children, but they are adults now. I never gave antibiotics to them when they were children. But, don’t feel bad if you’ve used antibiotics for your children. It’s your choice. I was in the enviable position where antibiotics were not necessary. My wife and I both agreed that we had our children’s immunity and health well under control.
We used supplements and homeopathic medication for our children. I was concerned about the risk of damaging my children’s guts by using antibiotics. I had seen that happen to so many of my clients.
There’s so much carnage out there due to antibiotics. Antibiotics are necessary. I’m not, again, saying that people shouldn’t take them. They’re absolutely vital, and they save a lot of lives, but they’re still dramatically still over-prescribed. Too many children receive antibiotics for trivial and small complaints.
I’ve seen this routinely in my clinic, not just here in New Zealand, but I’ve seen it on patients from all around the world. I’ve dealt with children from 40 to 50 countries, and the overuse of antibiotics is a common theme.
Do children recover from the side effects of antibiotics? Yes, in most cases, they do. But in cases where there is course after course of antibiotics in childhood, adult health status is definitely negatively impacted.
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I believe that in years to come, the overuse of antibiotics will be seen as one of the biggest blunders in medical history. Not just for humans, but for animals as well.
How do you build up a child’s health to reduce the chances they will need antibiotics? Firstly, educate yourself. Do some reading about how to help your child’s immune system. One of the habits that bother me the most is when parents repeatedly wipe their children’s hands with antiseptic wipes. Research has shown that when children are exposed to a variety of bacteria, they develop a robust immune system.
Diet also plays a vital role in establishing a strong immune system. The diet has to be good. But it’s not just the nutritional diet; it’s also the emotional diet. A loving environment makes a big difference to the immune system.
It’s easy to feed a child the right kind of food. Start them young eating raw stuff, steamed stuff, cooked stuff, but all kinds of vegetables. That’s a key thing to do.
Next, get your child to take a daily multivitamin to fill any nutritional gaps. There could be a zinc deficiency, a manganese deficiency, or a molybdenum deficiency. Small trace elements easily lacking from the diet can affect the growth and development of the child.
I also suggest that children take an omega-3 fish oil supplement. 250 mg a day should be enough for a 5-year old. For a bigger child, 500 to 1000 milligrams per day is not a problem. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the immune system and the brain.
If you want a child’s immune system to be great, reduce the instance of allergies, and increase a child’s ability to push away infectious disease, I recommend a probiotic. Studies have found a remarkable resilience to allergies in children taking probiotics versus children taking a placebo.
I recommend children, every child now under seven, to take a probiotic, at least a couple of times per year. In some cases, they can benefit from taking the probiotics for two to three months a year.
Remember that “green” time is also important. Children spend too much time in front of the television. Getting outdoors daily is essential for overall health.
You can use tea tree oil on a cut instead of antibiotic creams.
If you follow these general guidelines, customized to the needs of your child, you’re laying down the foundation they need to grow into a strong, healthy, adult.