Thursday, September 15, 2011

Health Plan: Flu and Ear Infection Season

Ear infections, bloody noses, and the flu have become a seasonal issue for us. When my son was younger, he ate all kinds of wonderful foods and sickness was not a huge issue for him. But now he's at this picky stage and its hard to get him to eat a single sensible meal. He wants sugar, dairy and Standard American Diet type recipes (think pizza, spaghetti, tacos, etc). His pattern seems to be a 2-3 day flu followed by an ear infection. As soon as he's better, another flu comes around. Last Winter it seemed that he was constantly sick and sure enough, the cold weather barely touched down and here he is, sick again.

This year we're getting organized and fighting back! I don't believe in using antibiotics as a first line of defense against infection. This promotes antibiotic resistance. There are plenty of alternatives to utilize. Here's my plan:

Throughout the Flu Season
Dietary: Reduce dairy and sugar
Herbal: Echinacea treatment (10 days on, 14 days off) with a kid-friendly product like these gummies.

Cold Onset
Eliminate dairy, minimize sugar, increase garlic and ginger, at least one glass of fresh juice per day. Supplement with Zinc and Vitamin C.

Ear Infection Onset
Begin the drop regime, below, and pay a visit to the Chiropractor.

Drop Regime
Once in the morning and once before bed.

  1. Flush with warm saline solution (1/2 cup distilled water + 1 tsp non-iodized salt).
  2. Flush with 50/50 mix of warmed distilled water and Hydrogen Peroxide and let sit for 2 minutes before draining ear.
  3. Add homeopathic drops (like these NOVA Ear Complex drops purchased at Country Nutrition in Waldorf) and let sit for at least 5 minutes or overnight if possible.
My son likes me to sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot" during Step #2. He holds his head to the side and I add the mixture to his ear while singing and at "tip me over and pour me out" he tips his head the opposite direction and let's his ear drain while we sing again and flush the other ear.

I'll let you know how it goes!

UPDATE: 7/17/2012
We went through the winter using the above plan and it worked! At no point did he need antibiotics to alleviate an infection. We went through this about 3 times throughout the winter and it worked great. It helped with the pain and, when deployed swiftly, headed off long, drawn out ear infections. There were long pauses between infections, which was a pleasant change from last winter. I attribute this to the dairy reduction.