Back to school health

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This topic could be a book very easily but today I want to summarise some of the stuff that I have heard parents talking about recently, with the start of the school year. There is a lot out there, courtesy of the media, old wive’s tales and clever pharmaceutical manipulation on how to raise your child. But what if you want to be a Natural Parenting advocate? Why is natural parenting automatically seen as some weird, neglectful thing?

DIET

For most kids, what they eat at school is often the basis of their diet. What is your child eating? Canteen food? Fast food? Pre-packaged snacks? There is much more on this blog about a sound diet for ANY age, but you need to rewire your way of thinking. Cereal, toast, milk, fried stodge and packaged juice is NOT food. It is rubbish and you know the old adage we are what we eat. You want your child to grow, be healthy, concentrate and develop into the best they can be, right? It is all down to a few vital things – beginning with diet.

Make raw fresh fruit juice!

If they must eat toast, make sure it’s NOT white flour toast. Find a healthy option – there are many out there.

Raw smoothies will provide more nutrients than their peers get in a full day.

For lunches and lunch ideas, see my facebook page –

here and get a copy of my e-book (which was written deliberately for parents who refuse to accept that their child can eat a healthy diet and actually survive –

Make sure that if they get a chance to eat rubbish like their peers, they will already have enough goodness inside them to be able to burn that energy and fly through their school year.

HEADLICE

Headlice are not selective – it’s not a matter of being dirty – in fact, the cleaner the hair, the happier the lice because they grip to dry, clean hair! There are so many natural products on the market. I make my own – equal parts of Neem oil, Eucalyptus oil, Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil – into a bottle of natural shampoo and also in the conditioner (my favourites can be found here –

order here (make sure the code of LSH273 comes up at checkout to get a further $10 off)

– pure, non toxic and yes, even healing) add 20mls of the essential oil mix. Use a metal lice comb, wash bedding, towels and hats regularly. And spray bedrooms and bathrooms – and hair brushes – with a pyrethrum spray. And sometimes you have to be honest – if visiting kids continue to infest your house, speak to the parents or don’t have them over. If you suspect your child’s friend is affecting your child, speak to the school – don’t make a big fuss – as I said, lice are not selective but it is a pain when some parents refuse to take responsibility. Kids can be cruel so making an issue can make it unbearable for a child. Handle with care!

But handle it! I have seen children with bleeding scalps and infections due to long ignored lice infestations. Please don’t ignore it.

SHOES

Shoes, like bags and clothes, have become a case of fashion and status, rather than health. Poorly fitting shoes can affect your child’s posture and health adversely. Let your child walk barefoot as much as is possible but for school make sure an orthotic styled shoe protects their feet. School shoes until recently have been nothing more than leather cases – no support, no protection. And studies have linked them to appalling lists of health issues. Well designed sport shoes are a must – this does NOT mean expense. Some of the most well designed shoes are the cheapest. When your child tries on their shoes, make sure the inside has a soft spongey lining with orthotic internal structure. If your child has ankle or foot malformations, please see a podiatrist, orthotic professional or a store like Athlete’s Foot for correct fitting. Too many adults now suffer horribly with inverted and tortured feet. If your school insists on black school shoes, make sure you have orthotic inserts – very affordable –

view and order here

SCHOOL BAGS

Again, poor posture and heavy weights can affect your child’s entire future. It is not something to ignore. I want to run up to kids passing my house and help them – but hope that this blog will be passed around and changes made. With so many schools removing lockers, it’s normal to see children to carry the equivalent of a gym workout around on their back every single school day! While it’s a lot to do with schools and peer pressure, it is also a lot to do with fashion and how much attention parents are paying. Ergonomic bags are affordable and for health, a must.

WATER

Did you know, your brain is the last organ to switch on to the fact that you are thirsty? No, not meaning coke, milk, energy drinks or fake fruit juice. Water is the basis of all of these things and is VITAL for health. That means by the time you are alerted to your feeling ‘thirsty’ your body is already dehydrated to a dangerous degree. Yes, you can live without drinking it but you will never thrive without it. In fact, before food, water is the number one necessity after oxygen for life. How much does your child drink? Make sure they drink a glass of water before school. I add a pinch of Himalayan salt (electrolytes) and lemon juice (alkalising). Send a large water bottle to school with filtered water. Even though schools only have tap water if your child drinks enough they should be encouraged to refill it and drink – I have seen schools forbid kids from carrying water bottles to sports ‘because they squirt at each other’ – what?

I’d rather my child get a little soaking than die of dehydration! When they get home, tip any tap water onto the garden and give them another drink of water immediately. Encourage them to drink at home – and for any non-water drink, ensure they drink an equal amount of water to flush it out. Better still, encourage them to avoid anything but water. For kids who play a lot of sport, they do not need sports drinks – adding lemon/orange juice and Himalayan salt to their water bottle, they will have adequate water and electrolyte uptake.

Avoid plastic bottles – unless they are BPA free. Better still, get them a steel (NOT aluminium) drink bottles – again, not small bottles. The steel is safe and ensures they will stay cooler for longer. Make sure they are washed out with soapy water and rinsed every night to avoid bacterial contamination.

SLEEP

Seeing a child fall asleep in class is heartbreaking but your teachers cannot be expected to be parents. That doesn’t mean they often aren’t expected to be. Make sure your child goes to bed at a decent time – I’m not talking about 6 or 7 o’clock as I have heard many parents argue is fair – I am talking sun-down. No earlier than 7.30 (my kids do well on 8.30 bedtime) but if falling asleep at the dinner table, send them to bed at 7.30 with a book or some music. Don’t let them fall asleep in front of the TV (most of us are guilty!) – make their room comfortable and safe enough feeling for them to want to be there.

Even if you or someone else needs to sit and read or sing or even just talk to them. If your day starts really early, it’s unfair for your child to have to suffer. Seeing small kids dropped off at daycare before the sun comes up is cruelty. 7am starts is fair – okay, so some kids habitually wake up at 6am – if they are fine with that, let them – but forcing them to live to your clock and struggle at school is not fine. We had neighbours who had loud music blaring into the night ‘The kids love it’ – and the poor kids would cry and fall asleep at school. Is this okay?

BULLYING

I’ve dealt with bullying elsewhere on this blog so wont go into too much detail. Suffice to say it must be dealt with – even if it involves extreme measures. I’ve had to bring in the police when the school my children went to failed to deal with it. In the end I chose to homeschool. It should never get to that point!

HOMEWORK

Some teachers are task masters – and if you feel your child is spending too much time at home doing homework, speak to the teacher or if necessary, headmaster. Knowing children play truant, self harm and even suicide in fear of not coping, it’s obvious something is wrong. I’ve heard of kids doing homework until 3 in the morning – to me, that means the teacher is not doing their work. School work is for school – in my opinion, home is for family life, not continuing school. A little research, reading or collecting what is needed for use at school is fine – doing a full day’s school work at home is NOT.

UNIFORM

While not necessarily a huge advocate of strict uniform, I believe that basic comfortable ‘uniform’ clothes are a brilliant idea – this stops peer competition, bullying and yes, even helps at home. Seeing certain American shows where wealthy kids wear designer clothes and make fun of less privileged kids should be used as a fine example of what NOT to do. Uniforms should always be comfortable, warm in winter and cool in summer. This business of onechild’s uniform costing $1000 is insanity and elitist! Clean socks, underpants, singlets and bras are a good beginning of year staple, as are comfortable, supportive shoes. One or two pairs of pants, one or two pairs of shorts, two or three shirts, one or two jumpers/jackets and one or two dresses for girls. Washing these once a week in non toxic laundry soap –

view and order here

SUPPLIES

Again, one of the peer-pressure zones. It’s normal for kids to want equal or even better stationery than their peers. It’s also common for kids to ‘nick’ the products that other kids bring to school. All you really needto do is make sure your child has the basic school supplies as per the school list. They don’t need designer store pens, cases, or any other nicknacks  – even though it’s pretty common. Every child knows at least one child who has the most expensive junky brand name ‘stuff’ – this is unfair and aside from whether it’s a birthday or Christmas gift, buying a child this ‘stuff’ is teaching them elitism and making them feel they are more worthy than their peers – while making their peers feel less worthy.

VACCINATIONS

This post is not about vaccinations even though our governments are making it about school attendance. For more information on this, please see my other posts on this blog and my facebook page –

here – just know the vaccine schedule does NOT protect your child from anything.

And to be forearmed, please order a copy of Maureen Hickman’s book Vaccination The Right Choice – as a paralegal with many years’ experience in the courtroom story of vaccine damaged children that our media does not share, that we don’t see, the truth can be easy to decide if you have the truth.

HYGIENE

Many parents with emotional issues inflict their own problems onto their children. Likewise, parents with less than hygienic habits are inflicting embarrassment and even health risks on their children. Safe, non toxic personal care – shampoo & conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, moisturiser and deodorant is as much as they need to worry about –

view and order here

– I’ve read heartbreaking case studies of children dying simply by eating toothpaste or using too much deodorant, based on having some misconception that they smell or are dirty. Asmy daughter’s teacher once said to his class “None of you can smell so bad that you have to poison yourselves with such an assault of perfumery!”

Twice daily toothbrushing (and flossing when they get the hang of it), a face wash in the morning, brushed hair, daily washing or bathing/showering is all they need – with once or twice weekly hair washing. Clean underwear and socks daily, and allowing shoes to air out, with regular cleaning of footwear is essential. Sprinkling bicarb into shoes will also help keep odours at bay.

Something you will realise after watching this clip is that most perfumes are little more than nerve gases and allergens – causing a lot of unnecessary suffering for yourchild or whomever they come into contact with. Dry skin can become common, so a healthy, non toxic moisturiser a few times a week will help prevent long term issues.

I have always felt that stopping the old practice of a ‘toilet bag’ at school was a step back. We were encouraged to brush our teeth after lunch, wash our hands at every break and after the toilet, and scrub our nails free of all the dirt of the playground. At the very least, teach your children from a young age to wash their hands regularly.

FIRST AID KIT

There is more on this subject throughout this blog and on my facebook pages. Suffice to say, ensuring you have homœopathics –

learn more here

– plus essential oils, supplements, herbal creams, analgesics, anti histamines, bandaids and bandages and a first aid book – you will ensure that a range of health issues can be safely and effectively dealt with before they become a serious issue.

COUGHS, COLDS & OTHER BUGS

Knowing many parents have massive medical files for their kids by the time they start school alarms me more than I can convey here. So many parents not only have a pædiatrician, but a regular doctor, a back up doctor, a child health nurse, and are known well at their local pharmacy – such is the rate at which we have relinquished our roles as parents. For goodness sake, if your child is unwell KEEP THEM AT HOME! Daycare centres and schools have become prolific petrie dishes – that is lazy parenting. I have been in trouble many times for refusing to send my kids to school until they are well – I don’t care. It’s not about 100% attendance – seeing a child collapse at school because of this – that is child abuse!

Having a herb-biotic or homœobiotic on hand every day – if you run out, replace it. Here’s one of my favourites –

order here

These steps alone will not only prevent but help to knock many ailments on the head better and safer than any antibiotic or strong medication. Never feel guilty if analgesics are needed – if pain is present, recovery is extended. Making sure your child has enough essential fatty acids will help not just with immunity but concentration and behaviour. Gastric upsets can be swiftly dealt with by probiotic and homœopathic use.

So, are YOU ready for the new school term?

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