Crazyhippiemom’s Weblog

Just an urban hippie with a kid in tow, sharing a little eco-friendly, holistic info with the world.

The Preschool Chronicles – Month One September 25, 2008

It has been almost a month since my 2 year old has been installed in preschool.  I use the word ‘installed’ quite on purpose, due to the fact that he was probably not very pleased about being left there…in fact, I’m sure he wasn’t.  The tears of shear dismay and pleading, rather begging, “MOMMY, MOMMY!!! NO!!! NO!!!! MOMMY!!” still replay quite vividly in my mind.  Well, I won’t relive the awful scene as I placed his diaper bag (no he’s not yet potty trained) and his carseat in the respective designated areas.  I’d rather focus on the last three weeks as a whole.  For those of you currently awash in the abyss of your toddler’s first preschool experience, read on and know that you’re not alone.  For those who have already mastered the preschool years, please provide some sort of insight; a survival guide or something to help us novices out!

The Germ-Fest

My vegan son is the epitome of health.  No fillers, no additives, no Big Pharma candy…no, no, no.  Nothing that had a mother, nothing made in a factory, you get the point.  The little man hasn’t had a cold in well, I’d say forever, but he’s only 2 and that would be a little unbelieveable…it has been at least 6 months though. So you could imagine my surprise when on the second day of preschool, he arrived home with the sniffles.  Now everyone I spoke to about this momentous event said exactly the same thing, “Oh yeah, when they’re in preschool, their noses never stop running!”  Why is this something we are unable to fix?  Why must their noses continually run?  Why are they passing germs around like…the plague!  Okay, I overstate.  But honestly, why is the everyday, run of the mill preschool a germ-fest?  I’m venting, bare with me.

My son’s a genius, why don’t they realize that?

I know every parent says this about their child, but mine really is a genius.  Okay, whatever.  I spent an enormous amount of time branding the ABC’s and 123’s into my sons head so he could start preschool to sit down and watch Sesame Street all day? I don’t think so!!!!  Alright, alright, maybe not all day, but really, shouldn’t they be cultivating each child’s potential with sensory learning tools and all that other jazz? 

He eats like an anorexic super-model

Is it just me or is my son refusing his favorite meal…that would be white rice.  Actually, he’s refusing everything I put in front of him.  It seems almost impossible that he can maintain his energy levels with just the morsel of food he’s been eating. 

Much more clingy than usual

This one I can kind of figure.  He may be having some abandonment issues.  Therefore when he sees his parents, he holds onto us with all his might.  I’ve been reassured that this will pass as he becomes more acclaimated to his surroundings.

Alright, so these are the changes I’ve noticed over the past three weeks.  As is my custom, I’ve done a little research to try to understand the ins and outs of the whole preschool thing.  Here’s a list from the experts to help ease my (and your) concerns.

What parents can do to ease the transition:

  • Talk to the preschool teacher about your concerns
  • Stay for a class
  • Practice appropriate preschool behavior while at home
  • Reevaluate maturity level and preschool readiness

This is definitely a process for all of us and I’m still researching it myself.  What are your thoughts?  What has worked for you?  Enlighten us.

 

Your Baby’s Fever Demystified – 12 Mind-Easing Facts About Fever March 7, 2008

All of us, parents and non-parents alike, have been programed into thinking that a fever is a bad thing… something to be avoided at all costs, something to be reduced at its onset.  Not so.  Fever is the body’s defense against disease.  A fever should be welcomed, in fact, we should roll out the red carpet, for with a fever comes the realization that our bodies are fighting the good fight for us.  Cut the pill-popping and doctor calling out, let the fever run its course.  Here are some demystifying facts about fever (from How To Raise A Healthy Child… In Spite Of Your Doctor)

  1.  A temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is not the “normal” temperature for everyone.  The 98.6-degree standard for body temperature is merely a statistical average, and “normal” for most people is higher or lower.  This is particularly true of children who’s temperatures can range from a low of 96.6 degrees to a high of 99.4.  Children’s temperatures can fluctuate significantly throughout the day for various reasons.  You can expect your child’s temperature to be about a degree higher in the late afternoon than it is in the early morning.
  2. Your child’s temperature may rise for a variety of reasons that do not signify illness.  Children’s temperatures may become elevated while digesting a heavy meal.  They may increase because of ovulation in pubertal teenagers.  Sometimes they are a side effect of non-illness related medication prescribed by your doctor.
  3.   The fevers you should be concerned about usually stem from an obvious cause.  Most of the fevers that spell serious trouble are the result of poisoning, or exposure to toxic substances in the environment, and are related to causes that lead to “heat-stroke”.  Temperatures of 107 degrees or more, resulting from these causes, can result in lasting bodily harm.  
  4. Temperature readings will vary depending on how they are taken.  Rectal temperatures in older children are usually about a degree higher than those taken orally, and underarm or axillary temperatures may be about a degree lower.  However, in babies rectal temperatures usually vary only slightly from oral or axillary.  Avoid using a rectal thermometer and spare your child the hazard of a rectal perforation.
  5. Newborn babies are the exception.  Newborn babies may suffer from infections related to obstetrical intervention during the delivery process, prenatal or hereditary conditions, or events that occur shortly after birth.  They may develop scalp abscesses as a result of fetal monitoring prior to delivery or aspiration pneumonia from amniotic fluid forced into the lungs because of overmedication of the mother during labor.  If your newborn has a fever, take him to the doctor.
  6. Overdressing could be the source of the high temperature.  Parents are sometimes overly concerned about keeping their baby warm.  Bundling up your baby could do more harm than good.  Babies are incapable of casting off excess clothing and blankets if the heat becomes oppressive.  If your baby already has a temperature accompanied by chills, and you respond by wrapping him up, you will simply force his temperature to rise even more.  Rule of thumb: Dress your baby in as many layers of clothing as you find comfortable for yourself.
  7. Most fevers are caused by viral and bacterial infections that the body’s own defense mechanisms will overcome without medical help.  The common cold and flu are the most common sources of elevated body temperatures in children of all ages.  They can generate fevers that range all the way up to 105 degrees, but even at that level they are not a legitimate cause for alarm.  The only potential risk is of dehydration, which may result from excessive perspiration, runny nose, vomiting, and diarrhea.  To ensure dehydration doesn’t occur, make sure that your child receives plenty of fluids… perhaps about eight ounces of fluid every hour, preferably liquids that have some nutritional value.  
  8. There is no consistent relationship between the height of a child’s temperature and the severity of a disease. There is a common misconception that the height of body temperature is an indication of the severity of an illness, but no consensus exists among parents or ever among doctors about what “high” is.  Knowing the precise level of your child’s fever will tell you nothing about how sick he is if the fever is produced by a viral or bacterial infection.  The only indications you have as to determining whether the fever is the result of a mild or serious infection is the child’s appearance, behavior, and attitude.  If your child is active, playing and behaving normally, you needn’t worry that his ailment is a matter of serious concern.
  9. Untreated fevers caused by viral and bacterial infections do not rise inexorably and will not exceed 105 degrees.  Only in the case of heatstroke, poisoning, or other externally caused fevers is this bodily mechanism overwhelmed and inoperative.  It is in those cases that temperatures reach and exceed 106 degrees.  
  10. Measures to reduce temperature, such as drugs or sponging, are worse for the child; they are actually counterproductive.  Fever occurs due to a spontaneous release of pyrogens that cause the body temperature to rise.  This is a natural defense mechanism that our bodies employ to fight disease.  The presence of fever tells you that the repair mechanisms of the body have gone into high gear. While reducing you child’s fever may make your child more comfortable, you may interfere with the natural healing process if you do it.  If you simply cannot resist the urge to reduce your child’s fever, sponging is preferable to drugs.
  11. Fevers produced by viral or bacterial infection will not cause brain damage or permanent physical harm.  The fear of fevers in the higher ranges stems from the widespread belief that permanent physical or brain damage may result if you permit your child’s fever to get “too high”.  Because your child’s bodily defenses won’t allow infections to produce fevers of 106 degrees, you need not fear mental or physical damage when his temperature begins to rise.  It is estimated that 95% of childhood fevers don’t even reach 105.
  12. High fevers do not cause convulsions.  They result when the temperature rises at an extremely rapid rate. If you have ever seen a convulsion occur it may be hard to believe that they are rarely serious.  They are also relatively uncommon; only 4% of children experience fever-induced convulsions.  Also, there is no evidence that those who have experienced them have suffered any serious side effects as a result.  A study of 1,706 children who had suffered febrile convulsions reported not a single death and no motor defects in the children.  If your child experiences a fever-induced convulsion – place your child on his side so he won’t choke on his own saliva; next, keep him from striking his head against any hard or sharp object while he is thrashing around; make sure he doesn’t have a breathing obstruction and place some soft but firm object between his teeth to keep him from biting his tongue.  You may call the doctor but there truly is no need.
Fevers are a common symptom in children and are not an indication of serious illness unless associated with major changes in appearance and behavior or other major symptoms such as respiratory difficulty or loss of consciousness.  The height of fever is not a measure of the severity of an illness.  Infection-induced fevers will not reach levels that can cause permanent damage to your child.  Fevers do not usually require medical attention or drug “intervention”.  They are the body’s natural defense against infection and should be allowed to run their course without medication or other treatment intended to bring them down.
 

Chiropractic Care – A Must for Babies & Moms-To-Be February 26, 2008

“Chiropractors do not treat disease.”  That’s the first thing a Chiropractor will tell you.  The second thing they’ll correct you on is that they “don’t crack backs”.  Now if they’re still speaking to you after that unforgivable faux pas, he/she will probably state (for the record, of course) “Our purpose is to assist in the proper function of the nervous and musculoskeletal system.”  Now that’s a mouthful, but in layman’s terms what they’re really saying is – most of the health complaints you’ve got can be successfully treated with chiropractic care.  I know, I know, it sounds like the “messiah” of the healthcare industry “Try us and you’ll never sneeze again!”  But honestly, and not to come off sounding like the proverbial sheep on the “chiropractic pasture”, chiropractic has been boasting some major breakthroughs in the health complaints arena.  Minor things like sinusitis, neck pain, ear-infections, chronic fatigue and joint pain have been successfully treated by utilizing chiropractic care.   It has also been proven successful in treating ADHD, fibromyalgia, ulcers, IBS syndrome, epileptic seizures and asthma.  Recently however, not only are adults benefiting from this type of care, moms-to-be and infants too, can receive “adjustments” correcting specific types of spinal misalignments.  

Founded in 1986 by Larry Webster, D.C.,  the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) is the oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care during pregnancy and childhood.  The ICPA provides advanced training, ongoing education and cutting edge research into the field of pediatric chiropractic care.  They also offer all this information to parents and interested parties.  Here’s what the ICPA claims: newborns, more likely than not experience misalignment due to particular birthing methods (i.e. prolonged pushing, forceps or vacuum extraction and mother’s “missionary” position during birth).   And you thought that breathing and pushing at the right intervals was all you needed to worry about during delivery!  Not so, says the choir of chiropractors who provide care to infants and expectant mothers.   

Dr. Alithea Corter, mother of two and co-owner of Bac To Health, a chiropractic office in Beverly Hills, maintains that, “As far as I’m concerned, all moms-to-be should have their spine and nervous systems checked.  Bottom line, nerve interference is bad for the mom and equally bad for baby.  Not only do I preach this to my patients but I followed my own advice.  I was adjusted throughout my own two pregnancies not for back pain but for optimum comfort and piece of mind for me and my beautiful babies!”.    

Not only are moms-to-be dealing with swollen breasts and ankles, their joints and nervous systems are getting the whammy put on them!  The pelvis and spine undergoes several changes and adaptations trying to compensate for the growing baby inside.  This poses an increased risk of interference to the nervous system.  Chiropractic care can be employed to establish balance to the mother’s pelvis. 

When delivery time comes, if a woman lies on her back, she works against gravity, requiring more stress and energy than necessary.  This transfers to the muscles pushing the baby out.  The poor little guy is in there getting squeezed and stretched, but the process increases that trauma because of the position of the mother.  No wonder our great-grandmothers could pop one out and keep on going!  They were squatting.  Yet, another feather in the “squat-while-you-birth” hat. 

While we’re on the subject of birthing, there has also been major success in assisting mothers with breech babies.  The Webster Breech Turning Technique helps turn breech babies during pregnancy.  This method, which is defined as a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and facilitates biomechanical balance in pelvic structures, muscles and ligaments boasts an 82% success rate.  Utilizing this technique enables mothers to avoid the costs and/or risks associated with ECV, C-Sections or the vaginal trial of a breech birth. 

Now, what’s all this hoopla about conducting chiropractic adjustments on babies?  Well, remember what I stated earlier about the squeezing and stretching?  I don’t want to scare you, but no matter what kind of birth you have, natural to not-so-natural, misalignments can occur.  A misalignment,  or subluxation, can sometimes damage the nervous system.  Subluxations can range from mild to more serious involving spinal cord damage, neural hemorrhage and central nervous system damage.  This is called Nerves System Stress. Trust me, you don’t want it and you certainly don’t want your baby to have it.   

Does your constantly crying baby have you singing the blues?  Well, many new moms have sung the praises of chiropractic care when dealing with colicky babies.  Research has shown that spinal manipulation is effective in treating infantile colic.  Some research has even suggested that chiropractic care has significantly reduced the effects of ADHD and bedwetting in older children.  Some children have shown an increase in immunity due to continued chiropractic treatments.  The success stories come a dime-a-dozen but the health benefits are priceless. 

Some moms-to-be are undoubtedly apprehensive about undergoing chiropractic care.  Does it hurt?  Will my unborn baby be harmed?  These are valid questions.  However, most pregos who take the leap, end up joining me as a proverbial sheep on the “chiropractic pasture”.  I’ve seen the same results with parents of newborns.  It’s kind of scary and nerve-wrecking at first, but after you get that baby home and she’s the angel you dreamed of when you first got pregnant…it’s all chiropractic bandwagon from there.   

Do some online research and check out all the pros and cons of chiropractic care.  Perhaps even visit a nearby chiropractic office.  I’m sure the doctor (and yes, they are licensed doctors), will be more than happy to “educate” you on chiropractic procedures.  Now that I mention it, I think it’s time for me to go get my back cracked…ah, I mean, go and get my spine realigned in order to assist in the proper function of my nervous and musculoskeletal system. 

For a chiropractor near you check out http://www.chirodirectory.com