It's that time of year again. Your child or children will be exposed to numerous parasites, fungi, bacterium and viruses. That does not include GMO foods, pesticides, flame retardants and PCB's. Stay ahead of the "back to school" illnesses curve.
Pediculus humanus capitis is parasitic head lice which is spread by direct contact with the hair of an infected person. Don't worry about spreading lice through clothing and personal hygiene has nothing to do with the spread. You can confirm diagnosis with identifying true nits that are located on the hair shaft less than 5 mm from the scalp. There are good OTC natural treatments at most drugstores. You can rub Weleda's Rosemary Hair oil into your child's scalp as a preventive lice measure. Lice are repelled by the odor. We carry Weleda in our virtual pharmacy through Emerson Ecologics. There are local lice fairies who work hard to remove the lice from your child's head so you don't lose your mind.
Tinea capitis, also known as ringworm, is a pruritic fungal infection of the scalp that can occur at any age, but it most often affects children. We can recommend antifungal tinctures and we also have ozonated olive oil to apply to the affected areas. Tinea capitis infections are contagious and can be spread easily to others by direct contact. Don't share combs or hats or touch the lesions. The good news is that this infection is seen less often after puberty.
HFMD is an acute viral illness usually caused by coxsackievirus A type 16 followed by types 5 and 10. This usually affects children younger than 5, but it can affect adults. You can have a skin rash, blisters in and around the mouth plus a fever. The virus is shed by direct contact, in the air or on contaminated objects. The diagnosis is made through throat and stool cultures. We have a great anti-viral protocol to rebuild your child's immune system. The protocol can include: oral powders, liquids and or capsules. Homeopathy works with your immune system.
Scarlet fever or scarlatina is a disease caused by 3 exotoxins from group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus which affects children aged 5-12. A sandpapery rash starts on the neck and chest then spreads over the body lasting for about 1 week. Most children will run a fever, have an inflamed throat, chills, vomiting and abdominal pain. The "strawberry tongue" with a whitish coat and a red bumpy appearance can distinguish it from other illnesses. Sometimes the palms peel in the healing period following the acute infection. Antibiotics are recommended because if left untreated 3% of patients will develop rheumatic fever that can significantly damage the heart valves. You can integrate ozone therapies with the antibiotics. Ozone makes antibiotics more effective when you need them. We offer antibiotic detoxification and immune rebuilding when the treatment is finished.
Pink eye or bacterial conjunctivitis is common in children with a red or pink eye. Most cases are self-limiting. In medical school, we were told to recommend putting breast milk into the eye because it is rich in immunoglobulins, colostrum and innate defense chemicals. Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by Haemophilus influenzae or S pneumoniae. This spreads easily. Most children have an upper respiratory infection and an ear infection or otitis media. We have liquid medicines for upper respiratory viruses and ear infections that you may want to order and keep on hand. Call me about these prescriptive formulas. I can order them in advance for your home pharmacy. You don't want to be caught short-handed at 3am when your child is ill and you haven't slept all night.
Ozone therapies can be topically applied to different parts of the body, safely inhaled and injected into the ears with a needle-less syringe. It's great for pediatric cases.
Chickenpox or varicella-zoster virus (VZV) results in fever, malaise and an itchy fluid-filled, blisterlike rash that scabs. It spreads easily with viral particles from skin blisters or by breathing in the viral particles from infected kids who are coughing or sneezing. You can spread the disease from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until all of the skin blisters have formed scabs about 6 days later. Diagnosis is confirmed by polymerase chain reaction or PCR. Standard treatment is palliative, but Naturopathic treatment includes; clean diet, anti-virals and homeopathic remedies. If you do get chickenpox then you have life-long immunity and there is no need for vaccination booster shots.
Measles or Rubeola is a contagious respiratory disease that is spread via coughs and sneezes. Measles virus can remain active for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces. Incubation, after exposure, can last from 7 to 14 days. Measles produces a high fever > 104 F with the classic triad of cough, coryza and conjunctivitis. Practitioners and moms can look for white Koplick spots on the soft palate in the mouth. Confirmation is through detection of measles-specific immunoglobulin IgM antibodies and measles RNA by real time PCR. Measles is still the leading cause of death in young children worldwide.
Mumps are contagious and more rare in the US because of routine vaccination programs. Many children are asymptomatic. Sometimes children will present with muscle aches, headache, fever, malaise, no appetite followed by bilateral or both sides swelling of the parotid glands. Mumps used to be the leading cause of deafness in children. Mumps can cause viral meningitis and encephalitis, but severe complications are very rare.
Slapped cheek or Fifth's disease caused by parvovirus B19 is usually mild and self-limiting. Many can be asymptomatic and others can have a fever, headache, inflamed nose and then progress to develop a facial rash. You can become ill 4-14 days after exposure and 20% still show no signs. ParvoB19 is spread through respiratory secretions - coughing and sneezing. This virus is dangerous in pregnancy because it can cause fetal hydrops and fetal death. It is routinely checked in pregnancy. I had a patient who contracted this virus in pregnancy and miraculously her child survived, but she had to have her spleen emergently removed because she could not manufacture sustainable red blood cells. Everytime she created a red blood cell it was destroyed causing hemolytic anemia which was life-threatening. If your child does have Fifth's please notify your child's teacher and all pregnant women around your child. This can also cause an aplastic crisis in patients with sickle-cell disease and other blood disorders in immune-deficient patients.
Impetigo is a gram-positive bacterial infection of the superficial layers of the outer skin. Impetigo contagiosa is the most common skin infection in children. It affects facial skin and arms and legs that have been disrupted by bites, cuts, abrasions, trauma or other diseases like chickenpox. Streptococcal infections can start the impetigo infection and Staphylococci can replace the Strep over time. Bullous impetigo is almost always caused by Staphylococcus aureus and is associated with scaled skin syndrome. Topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, local wound care is prescribed. There are natural topical and oral antibiotics in topical cream form and oral liquid form. We can give direct topical ozone gas on the affected lesions.
Sarcoptes scabiei or Scabies is a common skin infestation. These mites are shared through prolonged direct human contact with an infected person. The presenting symptoms can include: rash, intense itching caused by the mites burrowing into the upper layer of the skin and laying their eggs. Diagnosis is confirmed by microscopic identification of the mites and their eggs. There are prescription topical scabicides. All bed linen, clothing and other stuff has to be washed to remove the eggs and mits. Fomites can live for 2-3 days without a host. Things that cannot be washed have to be kept in sealed plastic bags for 3 days.
There is a garden variety of respiratory illnesses in the classroom. Whooping cough or Pertussis is very contagious caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. You breathe in the bacteria after someone sneezes and coughs. It can take hold as early as 7-10 days or reveal itself up to 6 weeks later after a person has become infected. Mild cough, runny nose can go on for 2 weeks. Kids have a low to no fever. It's the severe paroxysmal coughing with multiple rapid coughs followed by a whooping sound that keep everyone up at night. I call it a barking seal cough. It sounds wet. This can last for more than 10 weeks. Nasopharyngeal secretions can confirm the diagnosis. The standard of care is early antibiotics to prevent transmission especially to infants in the house who are more compromised.
Meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitis. This is transmitted through respiratory droplets often from an a symptomatic carrier. Symptoms can come on suddenly and they are acute. Children appear very ill and lethargic with a fever and headache. Nausea, vomiting, neck rigidity, sensitivity to light and altered mental status are hallmarks of this disease. You will know when your child is this ill. Don't play around. Go to the hospital because you will need a lumbar puncture to exam the cerebrospinal fluid, blood cultures, agglutination tests and PCR. This is a medical emergency and you must have antibiotics. If untreated, this disease is fatal in 50% of the cases. This is not the time to concoct your essential oils and hope for the best. Follow the emergency interventions first. I have medicine to clean up emergency interventions residue.
Do use your essential oils as a means of stimulating and supporting your child's immune function on a daily basis. Essential oils are great anti-microbial cleaners for the classroom. Your child can put a drop of lavender, oregano, thyme or basil behind their earlobe before school for added anti-viral/bacterial protection.
Lastly, there is bacterial pharyngitis or GABHS. This is commonly known as Strep throat. Very common in children between 5 and 15. Symptoms can be mild or severe - sore throat, fever, really red inflamed throat with gunk in the tonsils, nausea, stomach aches, fatigue, etc. There are rapid strep tests, but the throat culture is the best. Ask for both because sensitivity for the rapid test is only 70% with 30% of false negatives and the culture is much more sensitive. We have prescriptive homeopathic strep formulas and standard of care is antibiotics.
There are treatment options, both natural and standard, and or we can create a hybrid model. Serious conditions require hospitalization and emergency measures. Based on your child's constitution, symptom presentation, immune status and other variables most of these diseases can effectively be treated without any serious complications.
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