31 May 2010

Do doctors know best?

So, whose kids get colds when they cut teeth?

Me! Me! Me!

Why is it that doctors say there is no correlation between teething and runny noses?  Well, I guess I know why.  It's probably because there is no scientific reason for the two to go together.  But, does that mean it isn't something that happens? 

I say, "no."

I have four children and nine times out of ten, they have gotten colds just as they cut a new tooth.  My 2 1/2 year old is currently cutting his upper second molars.  A couple of days ago, he started sneezing, then got stuffy and started coughing and running a low grade fever.  The teeth have cut through and the symptoms of the cold are getting better.

The connection is probably that the baby's immune system is compromised as they cut a tooth, so the cause is not a direct one, but there is clearly a link.

If your child runs a fever of over 101 for more then 72 hours, take him to the doctor, even if he is teething, the cold may have turned into something more, like an ear infection.  Otherwise, though, wait it out.  Treat the symptoms and give the baby Hyland's teething tablets to get him through the tough times.

21 May 2010


has free online games for 3 age groups. Great for summer. Maybe kids can early club penguin time by first playing a reading game!

18 May 2010

Vaccines- help or harm? what to do...

Now that I've got your attention, I want to be clear from the start.  I am pro vaccine, for sure, but also am extremely cautious with how I allow them to be used with my kids.

My eldest child is on the autism spectrum.  I have struggled with wondering what caused it for many years now and, like nearly everyone with a child on the spectrum, I cannot say for sure what the cause is.  In my opinion, it is a brain injury caused by environmental contaminants of some sort.  When I look back over the years, I can point to several possibilities, although, none is definitive.

First, I had pitocin for 24 hours during my labor and delivery of him.  I've heard a theory that extended use of pitocin could be a cause of autism.  My friend's son, who was born on the same day, in the same hospital, also with pitocin, is also on the spectrum...  Coincidence?

Second, could it be something in the water or environment?  Our neighbor, where we lived when Zack was 3 months - 3 years old, also is on the autism spectrum.  Another coincidence?

Finally, vaccines...  Zack got all the vaccines on the CDC schedule, on the CDC timing.  Sometimes he got 4 injections in one day.  I know that the medical establishment has studied the issue and has decided that vaccines are not the cause of autism, but I wonder if the toxins included in the injections could be another contaminant that contributes to the cause.  More studies must be done.

Scientists have ruled that the MMR vaccine is not the cause, but that does not rule out a theory that the chemicals contained in the vaccines contribute to a build up of toxins and lead to brain injury. 

My theory is that it is a combination of things.  I wonder if some kids can metabolize all the chemicals better than others.  The levels of the toxins build up in the bodies of the kids whose bodies have a tough time eliminating them and they eventually suffer the consequences.  Sometimes, kids get such a high level of toxins in one visit, the brain injury is immediate.  The shock to the child's system is too great.

So, what to do?  How can we, as cautious, worried parents, protect our kids from both the effects of the toxins as well as the terrible illnesses that the vaccines protect them from?  Clearly, we want to stay away from both, but at what cost?

I continue to vaccinate my kids.  I think it is a dangerous risk to leave our kids open to these illnesses.

I watched Frontline's recent episode, The Vaccine War, (watch it here:  Frontline- The Vaccine War ) about this very topic and was infuriated by the misinformed statements by the anti vaccine woman in the show.  She said that since the illnesses are no longer a threat in America, it is not necessary to subject our kids to the vaccines.  Has she not heard of the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough?  These illnesses are still common around the world and it only takes one child in a community traveling outside the country, becoming infected and returning to infect all the un-vaccinated kids at home.

Herd protection (the effect of most of the population being vaccinated and therefor protecting the remaining population) is only good in isolation.  One infected child can wreak havoc on a community.   If an infected child brings an illness into a community a baby who is not old enough to be vaccinated can contract the illness and even die. A child with a compromised immune system could quickly become infected and die.  These illnesses are real threats.

It is an isolationist, misinformed (perhaps ignorant) view to say that  the vaccines are unnecessary now. My third son suffered not one, but two bouts of rotavirus.  His 2 year old body was ravaged by the illness, vomiting 10 or more times in a day.  He had to be hospitalized and hydrated for 3 days each time.

Some people would say that a vaccine for this is unnecessary because we were able to control the illness but what about the millions around the world who do not have access to the medical care we had?  My fourth son had the rotavirus vaccine.

Here's how I resolve the issue.  I vaccinate my kids, but on an alternative schedule. I've read books on the issue and consulted with pediatricians and nurses and came up with a schedule I am reasonably comfortable with.  It limits the number of vaccines and combines only vaccines with different chemical make ups at any given visit.

You have to be dedicated to the effort.  It requires extra visits to the doctor's office, but in my mind, in helps keeps my kids safe- both from the illness the vaccines target, and the chemicals the injections contain.

If you'd like to see my schedule, leave a comment on the blog with your contact information and I will send it to you.

07 May 2010

When Playdates go wrong

What do you do when your child and his friend aren't having a good time at a playdate? 

Yesterday, my six year old had a friend over and they could not agree on activities.  They like each other but have different interests.  My six year old is a third child and likes to do things his older brothers do.  His friend is the oldest of three and still likes to play with Thomas.  One of the best parts of having play dates is that the kids keep each other happy and occupied.  Yesterday was NOT successful.

Usually, they find common ground and have a great time but yesterday they could not connect.  One wanted to go outside, one wanted to watch tv.  One wanted to play with legos, one wanted to do a craft. 

After struggling to keep them happy together, I finally gave up.  I decided that they could go back to the ways of toddlers in playgroups and have parallel play.  I made sure they stayed in the same location- either both down in the play room- one playing legos, the other a video game- or both outside- one swinging, one climbing or playing with balls. 

Finally, the afternoon ended with them both in the kitchen watching the older brothers work on the computer and helping me bake cookies.  (The great equalizer!)

It was a long play date but they got through it and so did I.  I doubt they will want to play again soon but eventually will have a meeting of the minds, I am sure.