Last week was one of those roller coaster mothering weeks I dread. Diva was sent home from school because she had a wonky tummy and a headache. A gymnastics competition was coming up, so I wasn't surprised, figuring she was just nervous, especially since she was bouncing around after school. Low and behold, that night she was lethargic and running a 102 degree temperature. The up-and-down symptoms persisted for two days with the fever breaking and a sore throat beginning. With our insurance rates having skyrocketed, I don't rush to the doctor every time a kid is sick, but I really wasn't sure what to do. Once the fever breaks, should I send her to school even if her throat is sore? If she's feeling better at night, do I send her to gymnastics' practice? Should I bit the bullet and take her to the doctor?
Enter a book I had bought years ago: The Doctors Book Of Home Remedies For Children from the editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books. I'd purchased this book on clearance from Barnes and Noble and have taken it out many times since. Obviously, as the title says, this is a medical-based book, not a purely holistic one. It does not shirk from recommending over-the-counter medicine or going to the doctor when things look serious. What it does do, however, is give parents some practical guidance as to easy home remedies that doctors recommend.
It advocates simple, non-medicinal treatments that even I, someone who thought she knew a lot about home remedies, found surprising. For example:
- Lollipops and ice cream are great for soothing sore throats.
- Antiperspirants, when applied to a bee sting, relieve the
pain and itching.
- Flat cola calms a queasy stomach.
- Using a wet teabag to help with the discomfort of cold sores.
- Making a paste of baking soda and water to help with sunburn.
Despite it's medical slant, I love the fact that the authors often caution against using over-the-counter medicines, explaining why they don't work. And the sections entitled “When To See The Doctor” alert you what to look for and when, specifically, you might want to at least call the doctor.
I eventually took Diva to the doctor to test for strep (which was negative), but the book reminded me that putting a straw in her liquids made them easier to drink and that giving her orange juice was a big no-no for sore throats (too acidic).
Will this be the only medical reference book you'll need? No, but it's a great one to have on your bookshelf for learning more about the symptoms your kid presents and how much you can do on your own. I recommend it for people with small children, although the authors do tackle behavior problems exhibited by older kids like complications from ear piercing, TV addiction, and video game addiction. I'm happy I bought it and you will be, too.
Thanks for reading! Please check back in with me and don't forget to visit me at The Geek Parent (www.thegeekparent.com).