ACTION:

[1] Find a wellness chiropractor. Chiropractors can assess how your child’s spine and nervous system is adapting to the lifestyle stressors placed upon it, and regular chiropractic adjustments help to support optimal growth and nerve function.

 

TOXINS –CHEMICAL STRESSORS

Over the last few decades we have come a long way in learning how health is taxed by environmental chemicals. We now know that unborn babies and breastfed children are exposed to toxins that a mother inhales or ingests, or that pass through her skin. It was once thought that the placenta shielded the fetus from these toxins but in fact the umbilical cord carries not only the building blocks of life but also a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that cross the placenta just as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol.
It is estimated that approximately 60 per cent of our immune cells reside in our colon (bowel). Our modern lifestyle compromises our digestive strength every day—poor dietary habits, antibiotics, lack of water and environmental toxins destroy important flora or good bacteria of the bowel, affecting our digestive capacity and impacting our immune system. Chemical stress may result from chlorine and fluoride found in water and the many toxins found in food, including pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, colorings, additives, hormones, damaged fats and high levels of sugar.
When these toxins accumulate in the body, the core energy of the body is weakened. Sadly, millions of children suffer with eczema, asthma, allergies, sleep problems and behavioral difficulties—to name but a few of the repercussions.

 

 ACTIONS:

[2] Eat well.Buy high quality organic fruits and vegetable. If you are unable to purchase organic produce then buy a fruit and vegetable wash which helps to remove pesticides. Explore the Environmental Working Group’s website (www.ewg.org); they are a not-for-profit environmental research organization that has developed a pesticide guide for fruits and vegetables.
[3] Drink well. One of the simplest and most important things you can do is invest in a water filter to protect your family against chemically-treated water. Most of our drinking water today contains chlorine and chlorination by-products, as well as numerous other contaminants.
Drinking good quality water promotes detoxification, enhances nutritional uptake and ensures optimal hydration. Help your children develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than juices and soft drinks. A mere two per cent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Many children are frequently dehydrated, suffering with concentration issues, constipation and digestive problems.
[4] Use probiotics. High quality probiotics can provide the necessary bacteria for a healthy gut, and they are an essential aide to digestive health for all children. I would recommend taking these a few times a week.
[5] Visit your allied health practitioners. For your child to enjoy long-standing digestive health it is imperative to ensure that their bowel is receiving effective nerve messages from the central nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments aim to remove nerve dysfunction, allowing the body the opportunity to restore balance and re-build bowel and immune strength. I would also recommend utilizing the expertise of Chinese Medicine practitioners and homeopaths to assist with health challenges.
[6] Audit your household. Take an audit of the number of processed foods in your pantry, fridge and your children’s lunch boxes. Consider how many prescriptions your child has had in the last twelve months or over their lifetime. Investigate the ingredients in your personal care products. There are now many good websites and books that can inform you about these dangers and show you how to reduce the risks in your own home.
“Man shapes himself through decisions
that shape his environment.” —Rene Dubos

 

MENTAL STRESSORS

It is important to realize that children are not immune to stress. Epigenetics and other areas of research show us that emotional stress affects human beings at all stages of life, including in utero, creating changes at a cellular level that can be detrimental to a child’s future health.
One of the causes of emotional stress is a hostile or uneasy environment at home or school. If a child feels their safety or the safety of either parent is threatened, physiological responses arise which can result in anxiety, personality issues or health complaints.
Chronic emotional stress in turn creates digestive stress, altering the body’s fine acid/alkaline balance. These deleterious effects are exacerbated by short, rapid breathing patterns known to accompany stress, increasing the body’s acidity woes. When the bowel is acidic our digestive strength weakens.
Poor sleep habits can also contribute to unnecessary stress in the household. If a child does not wake up easily and with energy each morning, this could indicate they are not getting enough quality sleep.  As a parent you might need to pick your battles but ensuring your children get enough sleep is a battle you should be determined to win every time, because children cannot concentrate, learn tasks or play sports well when their bodies are chronically tired. When tired, children will also crave sugary foods that leave them prone to yeast imbalances.

 

ACTIONS:

[7] Limit the late nights. It is a good idea to limit the number of late nights that children have in a week. With social, school and family activities, bedtimes can gradually become later and later for older children; however, sleep requirements remain just as vital for teenagers as when they are younger. It turns out that teenagers may actually need more sleep than in their younger years.
[8] Send them to bed early. Try getting your children to bed an hour earlier for a period of time and watch how this can transform grumpy or emotional behavior.
[9] Implement a set routine. Having a set routine for dinner and bedtime makes life easier for everyone, as it gives the body and mind cues to slow down, relax and prepare for sleep.
[10] Encourage them to exercise. Children sometimes resist sleep because they are not doing enough physical exercise during the day. Encourage children to exercise frequently. Families can create regular rituals in and around exercise, such as going cycling together, playing in the garden, or learning a sport.
[11] Spend time together. Limit television and electronic time and spend more time together as a family, relaxing and connecting, free of agendas.
[12] Learn new skills. Parenting is hard. However, there are many tools and skills you can learn to make life easier. Decrease the stress in your household by committing to learning new proactive parenting skills each year. This can keep you inspired and inventive when challenges arise.

 
“Our chief want in life is somebody
who can make us do what we can.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
Admittedly, I have spent many anxious moments contemplating the enormity of parenting. I love Emerson’s quote because it reminds me that while it feels like hard work to create positive lifestyle changes for our children, the good news is there is so much that we can do to protect our children’s health and nurture their minds and bodies.

 

It is never too late to influence the health of the little people in our lives; it just takes courage, commitment and learning to trust your intuition.
Together there is much to learn and explore.