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April 7, 2022

Nutritional interventions for depression and anxiety in children

Depression and anxiety are extremely common conditions that affect millions of children in the United States.  The CDC estimates 9.4% of children have clinically significant anxiety, and 4.4% of

March 3, 2021

I think my child has PANDAS. What do I do next?

What is PANDAS?  PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection. This condition is characterized by a sudden onset of psychiatric sympto

February 10, 2021

Pathological Demand Avoidance: An Unrecognized, Important Subtype of Autism

Have you ever seen a child in your clinic who presents as “a little autistic, but not quite”? Perhaps nine-year-old Anna* makes good eye contact, speaks eloquently, and greets you like a talkative

June 18, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part III – Building a Tick-Kit

This article is the second in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  Part I reviews the timing of tick activity, types of ticks, diseases involved, a

June 12, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part II – preventing tick bites.

This article is the second in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  Part I reviews the timing of tick activity, types of ticks, diseases involved, a

June 4, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part I – Types of Ticks, Timing, and Geography

  This article is the first in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  This article, part I, goes over the timing of tick activity, types of tick

April 23, 2019

Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals? A Guide to Testing for Nutritional Deficiencies (Part 3 – Iron)

Could your child have an iron deficiency? Iron deficiency is very common in kids, especially in infants and teen girls. Read on for the signs of iron deficiency, how to test for it, and what you can d

Naturopathic Pediatrics - Galactagogues to increase breast milk supply

Herbs to increase milk supply: a guide to galactagogues

Worried about low breastmilk supply? This post will cover herbs to increase lactation.  Herbs that increase breast milk production are called “galactagogues.”  (“Galacta” = milk, “-gogue” = producer or supplier) Is your milk supply actually low? But first before we get started - is your milk supply actually low?  Many women mistakenly believe that their breast milk supply is low when it is not.  See this wonderful article from kellymom.com about breastmilk supply issues.  There is no need to supplement with galactagogues if breastmilk supply is normal! (If you need a good introduction to Breastfeeding, including an answer to all your basic questions, check out...

Sneaky Chemical Exposures: the Nursery

Baby's on the way.  You're busy nesting.  Painting the nursery, buying the crib, the dresser, the glider, the toy chest.  It's an exciting time.  But the hundreds of decisions that have to be made regarding exactly what to buy can be stressful.  Well, add another stressor:  between flame retardants, formaldehyde-laced particle board, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, you have a lot of chemicals to try to block at the door of baby's room. Paint VOCs are what gives paint that terrible chemical smell.  The EPA lists the following as side effects of exposure to VOCs:  "eye, nose, and throat irritation;...

Naturopathic Treatment for Infant Eczema

Eczema (aka Atopic Dermatitis)  is very common, and it frequently first pops up infancy affecting anywhere from 5-20% of children.  I've seen many babies, some as young as 3-4 weeks with whole body eczema.  By the time I see them, Mom and Dad have often already tried everything - new detergent, more bathing, less bathing and every over the counter cream money can buy.  And, understandably they are hesitant to rely on hydrocortisone cream. What Causes Eczema We know that eczema tends to run in families, and that having a family member with either eczema, asthma or allergies increases the risk. (See...

Getting baby (and parents!) ready for solids – a case for Baby Led Weaning

If you're at all familiar with my practice, you'll know that I'm a huge advocate of baby led weaning (BLW).  For the several years I've been offering workshops in addition to counseling patients and families in my office on the ins and out of BLW for the past several years. My interest in BLW was piqued after we my first daughter was born.  We had such success with it that we subsequently used it to introduce food to our twins who were born in 2010  When asked about the benefits of BLW, I tend to be a little emphatic!  I think...

Detox for kids!

What do trampolines, lemons and red clovers have in common?  They can all help your kids get rid of chemicals in their bodies.  Pound for pound, children are exposed to more toxins than adults are because they eat more, breathe more, and have a greater skin surface area.  More toxins get into their bodies and their immature organ systems make them more susceptible to damage (infants are 10x more susceptible and children 3x).  Toxins can easily be found in our water, food, air, personal care products, household items and medications.  Regularly supporting detoxification in children is strongly recommended, especially in children who: have...

What’s In Your Child’s Multivitamin??

People take multivitamins because they are supposedly healthy. While I regularly prescribe vitamins and supplements for specific reasons, I do not recommend that everybody take a multivitamin. Moreover, I have been shocked at the poor quality of the ingredients in many children’s multivitamins. Children have such delicate, developing neurological systems that it is imperative that if you are giving them vitamins, they must be high quality. Below is the ingredients list for a common multivitamin found at many natural food stores: In case you want a little more information on the above mentioned vitamins: Vitamin A: There is no toxicity associated with the...

Top 10 Avoidable Physical Dangers for Kids

As a naturopathic doctor, I don't see a lot of emergency cases. Parents tend to know when they need to go to the ER, so I generally see kids for their follow-up care. But, as a mom who is also a doctor, I ponder questions such as: what do I worry most about for my child? Here are the physical dangers I worry about most for my baby, his buddies, and my patients, that are preventable, or at least whose damage can be mitigated. 1. Drowning 2. Accidental Gun Shots 3. Unrecognized Respiratory Distress 4. Accidental Marijuana Ingestion 5. Alcohol Poisoning 6. Accidental Over the Counter...

Natural Home Treatments for Croup

What is Croup? Croup is known for its loud, barking cough and inflammation of the throat, which can cause severe issues with breathing. It is seen almost exclusively in children, the smaller the child the more severe the illness can be. Croup usually starts as a cold or upper respiratory infection and often presents at night as a gasping/barking cough. Most of the time croup can be easily treated at home, but it can sometimes be life threatening. It is usually seen in younger children aged 0 to 3, although older children can also get it. Croup is often caused by parainfluenza...

My child has a cough – when do I call 911?

"My child has a cough - when do I call 911?"  This guide should help answer this question!  These are general recommendations based on the best-practice guidelines in 2015 and could change - so always follow your physician's advice first.  Your doctor should give you detailed instructions on when it is appropriate to seek medical attention for your child given their specific health needs. When to seek immediate medical attention: My child is coughing AND...

Vegetable and Protein Containing Snack and Lunch Ideas

Most kids, at one point in their lives or another start being pickier with what they will eat. Throw in the fact that they are no longer sitting at your kitchen table but instead are at school seeing everyone else’s lunch options and you may just find you have a revolt on your hands. What is a health-conscious caregiver to do? Here are some great vegetable and protein-containing meal ideas, which work for home or school and for most meals of the day. (Why is it so important to have veggies and protein included in your child's diet?  Read our article: How...

How to improve your child’s behavior with blood sugar control

Are you struggling with behavioral issues in your child? Have you ever wondered if blood sugar control is affecting them? So often I see a parent come in with a child who needs behavior modification - and the schools of course want something to be done about it. I get it! Schools are over populated, with not nearly enough teachers to students. Their job has become a large mix of behavior management and teaching. What I don’t get, is the lack of awareness of how much this behavior modification can be influenced by dietary choices. When I talk with parents, they describe to me...

What kind of Diaper Rash is that?

Many first-time expectant moms are already prepared with creams and ointments to fight diaper rash before baby is even born. Diaper rash, or diaper dermatitis, is a common ailment that affects most babies and can range from fleeting to severe. It can be a real challenge to treat if not properly identified. The following information will help you tell the difference between the top three causes of diaper rash, many of which can be easily treated at home: Irritant dermatitis: The most common cause of diaper rash is due to the use of the diaper itself. This is from wet skin being...

Treatment for Children’s Constipation without Miralax

// // In January of this year the FDA announced it would fund research into the safety of the very popular constipation medication Miralax. Though Miralax has been approved for use in adults and adolescents for less than 7 days, it has never been approved by the FDA for use in children.  Despite this Miralax has been a mainstay treatment by conventional pediatricians for use of constipation in children. Polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350) is the active ingredient in Miralax.  Just so we are on the same page, ethylene glycol - or antifreeze - is not the same as polyethylene glycol.  Though polyethylene glycol is simply a...

Springing Forward

Springtime celebrations across cultures share the theme of resilience & renewal.  Children have a natural ability to ‘bounce back’ when they encounter significant challenges and parents can play a critical role in helping to further develop this skill.  When resilient kids are faced with life's obstacles, they can use them to spring forward. As parents, we are accustomed to focusing our caring attention towards the little people that surround us.  So much so that, we often find it difficult to turn that attention towards ourselves - even when we need it!  When we start to feel that we are easily fatigued, having a hard time making it through 3-5pm,...

Colic – is it reflux, gas or an over-sensitive baby?

The "C" word in baby circles.  It brings terror to the hearts of parents everywhere.  But what exactly does "colic" mean? Colic is actually defined as excessive crying: an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant who cries more than three hours daily more than three days a week for more than three weeks.  However, the term is thrown around loosely, and often implies tummy aches.  Regardless of the definition, if your baby, or a baby you know, cries even close to that amount, you may want to read on. Here are the medical facts about colic: birth order does not affect colicmethod of...

What is Molluscum and What Can Be Done About It?

Molluscum contagiosum, usually just referred to as Molluscum by your family doctor, is a viral infection of the skin. It is usually seen in school aged children and looks like pearly/skin colored bumps with small indents (known as umbilication) in their centers. Location: They show up seemingly 'out of the blue' in all sorts of areas but usually they stick to places where two skin areas rub together such as elbow creases or fingers. In my practice I often see them on legs as well. Symptoms: Generally the only symptoms will be the presence of small skin colored bumps but at times they can...

How to Treat Cradle Cap Naturally

Whether it's a few specks or a thick yellow coating, most babies have some cradle cap at some point.  It is a common condition that causes no problems, and eventually (usually) goes away on it's own, but it can be quite irritating to parents. Facts about cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis: It's the pediatric version of Seborrheic Dermatitis, and it typically appears in the first month of life.  We don't really understand why it happens.  It is typically not itchy (as the adult version is) and it bothers no one but the parents.  It usually resolves on its own, within weeks to...

Tummy Massage for Every Body

One of the best ways to help your little one and yourself is through the use of therapeutic massage. I often suggest Tummy Massage (or to be technical, abdominal massage) to my patients and their parents. Tummy massage can be helpful in a few different ways: a gentle tummy massage for your infant can help to soothe them and also help gently stimulate their gut to move along gas that may be causing them undue pain. Older children and adult patients greatly benefit from abdominal massage to help stimulate a bowel movement when they are having issues with constipation. Constipation...

Ear Infections and Naturopathic Medicine

We've all known that poor girl who had to have tubes put in her ears.  Or that poor boy who's taken more rounds of antibiotics than his weary parents can count.   Ear fluid buildup, and ear infections, are all too common for children.   Tubes and antibiotics, though sometimes necessary, are over-prescribed by well-meaning doctors.  Is there a naturopathic solution? (NOTE:  this article addresses middle ear infections, not outer ear infections, or "swimmer's ear" as they are commonly called.) Why Do Kids Get So Many Ear Infections? The main reason is anatomy.  Adults have ear canals that slant down towards the nose and mouth...

VIDEO – Successfully treating earaches with homeopathy and other natural medicine

This video is a special one-hour webinar done for the National Center of Homeopathy by Dr. Amy Rothenberg.  The video includes slides on diagnosing and treating otitis media (ear infections) with homeopathy and natural medicine. This is an awesome freebie video - check it out! Enjoy!  ...

5 Tips to Get Your Family Healthy for the New Year

While not necessarily easy, intentionally forming healthy habits—and having your family get onboard with you—is possible! You just need to be armed with the following strategies: 1.) Create a plan. Focus on one area at a time. If you get too ambitious, you run the real risk of overwhelming your clan! Maybe you want to get active, eat more healthy food, and simplify your life, but you’ll need to pick only one and hone in on that to start. For example, begin by upping your activity level and scheduling regular family bike rides, hikes, joining the local Y, etc- three days a week. Action: get...