I’m sure there have been times when you’ve asked yourself, “why is my kid so cranky?” Then if your not completely exhausted from dealing with your cranky kid, you go down the checklist of possibilities:
- Is he hungry?
- Did he get a good night sleep? Does he need a nap?
- Did he have anything sugary to eat?
- Has he had too much screen time?
No. No. No. No. What could it be? Oh, no! He might getting sick! Crankiness, whining, and irritability are the first signs that your child could be getting sick. Take action right away to see if you can prevent a brewing illness from becoming full blown.
Here are a seven steps to help prevent illness:
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Have them go to bed just a little bit early.
- Avoid sugar, dairy and wheat as much as possible.
- Eat whole foods, chicken stock, warming soups and teas.
- Start herbs and supplements. Support their immune system with supplements like vitamin C, vitamin D, astragalus, maitake and other mushrooms, etc. There are a lot of possibilities so just use what you have on hand.
- Keep your child warm. Don’t let them play outside in the cold or wind without a jacket or at least an extra layer of clothing. If you’re not sure if they’re warm enough put your hand inside their shirt and check to see if their shoulder and upper back are warm.
- Slow Down their Schedule. This is the time to do less. Cancel meetings or appointments that aren’t essential so you and your child can get a break and some extra rest.
- Massage their upper back between the shoulder blades and spine until their skin turns a little pink. Vigorous massage in this area helps stimulate the acupoints associated with the immune system. This is great to do after a bath.
We can’t always prevent a cold, but by intervening in the early stages you can help you child through it without complications. To build a healthy immune system your child needs to get sick and get well.
If your child is sick frequently or needs extra support during the cold and flu season, contact a licensed acupuncturist who can give you specific advice for your child’s health concern.
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