Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kids in the Car! - Natural First Aid Travel Essentials

Attempting to travel or camp with children can be a daunting task.  You want to imagine the worst things that could befall your family and be prepared; yet you don’t want to end up with a bulky package of what –in-cases that take up precious cargo room.  Here are some tried and true summer first aid basics.

The over-all best resource book to have with you is:  ‘Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child’, Zand, Walton and Roundtree.  This resource will cover all the medical, herbal and homeopathic basics.

Most of these resources are available at Health Food Stores.

 Health Care Basics
Hypericum Lotion also called Mother TinctureThis is used in place of alcohol or peroxide for open wounds, broken skin, inflamed tissues and to prevent infection.  Alcohol or peroxide although it sterilizes, does eat away at the freshly healed tissue somewhat. 
The great thing about Hypericum MT is that it sterilizes, feeds the wound and heals the wound from the inside out.  This is especially beneficial when you suspect particles that may still be in the tissues.  You don’t want the skin to seal on the surface when you’re not sure if there is hair or debris still trapped in the wound

Method:  Dilute 1 part MT to 4 parts water.  Apply with Q-tip or cotton pad or it can be mixed in a sterile spray bottle.  Attempting to spray it on is more successful that trying to come close to an ‘owie’.  Use often to cleanse the wound and speed its healing.  This is a wonderful remedy for post-scratched infected or inflamed bug bites.

Calendula Lotion also called Calendula Mother Tincture.  Whereas Hypericum Lotion is used anytime the skin is open, calendula is most effective for abrasions, burns, chafes, sunburn or any kind of itch.  Calendula does come in an ointment form, but I don’t like putting oil on burns or abrasions.  Calendula, a type of marigold flower, speeds healing, is an antiseptic, and reduces inflammation and pain.

Calendula cream can be used for soothing and healing an irritated scalp and works well for a dandruff prone scalp.  It is great for reducing the itch of insect bites heat rash and for sunburn.  In regard to diaper rash, calendula can be used on the skin as a healing layer, and a barrier product used on top of it.

As a quick first aid for kitchen burns, Calendula is without rival.  Calendula helps to take the heat out of a burn fast. A word of caution, Calendula is not recommended for open wounds and where the skin is broken.

Method:  Dilute 1 part MT to 4 parts water.  Apply with Q-tip or cotton pad or it can be mixed in a sterile spray bottle. Use often to speed healing and increase comfort.

Summer dehydration
It is the minerals in our bodies that keep the water balanced in the cells. In the summer we gravitate to cooling hydrating foods such as celery, peaches, watermelon, and cucumber.  Adding sea vegetables such as kelp, nori or dulse to our diets can help us to keep our cool during hot weather (much better than refined table salt).  Enduralyte or a quality unsweetend electrolyte formula can really help us to keep our blood minerals balanced in the heat.

Biochemical cell salts
When we are cremated, what is left over is cell salts.  They are the carbon components of our own tissues.  Cell salts stimulate and support proper function of cell/organ/system.  They keep water in balance and feed the body at a cellular level.

The Summer Cell Salts
To relieve stomach upset, bloating, intestinal discomfort and lassitude consider Kali Mur, Nat Phos, and Nat Sulph.  They are usually found in low potencies such as 6x or 12x.  Their value is vastly underrated especially in regard to very young children.

Homeopathics are diluted forms of plant material that cause a healing and balancing response in the body. For home use you would be using low potencies.  I will let you do your own research on this. 

Think of an aeroplane traveling down a runway, and you notice one wheel drifting off the tarmac, Homeopathics are a way of nudging the body back on track.  (Balance)

The Integrative Approach
Use herbs and vitamins and minerals as well as Homeopathics.  Not all or nothing.
Also support the body long term. What else would help?  Don’t lose sight of the cause.

Heat Exhaustion
Tissue Salts 12 in One-Melange (all of the 12), Encourage small sips of water,
Consider Homeopathic Aconite

Skin eruptions
 Kali Mur, Kali Sulph, Calc Sulph, and Silica

Rashes, itch, nettle rash, or heat rash
Urtica homeopathic

Poison ivy
Rhus Tox 6x homeopathic or Urtica
Also avoid eating cashews and mangoes which are in the same food family.

Sprains and Bruises
Arnica 30k
Can use Arnica liposome topically for swelling
Ruta 30 or 200k for deeper bone bruising

Arnica 200k
Always seek medical care.

Burns including sunburn
Calendula Lotion topically
Utica Urens or Cantharis Homeopathic
Protect the skin from sun by using non allergenic pure mineral makeup as sunscreens.  These fine powders will not sweat off easily or get easily washed off.

Insect Bites and Stings
Hypericum Tincture topically
Golden Seal Herb poultice and internally as a tea (not when Pregnant)
Homeopathic Apis or Urtica

Motion Sickness
Cocculus homeopathic

Bone Breaks
Symphytum homeopathic
Always seek medical aid.  This remedy encourages and stimulates the natural healing of the broken bones.  I would also recommend the extra use of a good cal mag for the initial first week or so of the healing. I suggest Floradix Liquid Cal Mag.  This product is made from food, and is more body friendly.  This is especially important for optimum absorption for children.  It will, however, require refrigeration.

Muscle Cramps or growing pains
Again, Flora Liquid Cal Mag.   Give a couple of teaspoons every 10 minutes or so until the cramping stops.  This is especially important for absorption for children

Food Poisoning
Nux Vomica homeopathic and Choline 1 tablet every 15 minutes.  Cheladonium Plex is a helpful homeopathic plex that can be taken ongoing for a week or so to bring the digestive system fully back to balance.  The use of live culture probiotics is essential.

Digestive Disturbances
The summer tissue salts are helpful: Kali Mur, Nat Phos and Nat Sulph.  Probiotics and digestive enzymes are helpful to restore the gut.  The overall reducing fatty foods and processed foods can help.  Reducing mucous forming foods such as dairy and wheat can be helpful while the body is recovering.  Cheladonium Plex can be helpful when used over a longer period of time to strengthen the digrestion. 

Black Walnut Tincture, Cina 30k, Unda # 39

Over-indulgence of food, alcohol or too much mental work
Nux Vomica 30k or 200k, Choline

Coughs and Respiratory Congestion
Drosera, Spongia, Dulcamera in 30k or 200k

Flu or Sudden illness
Unda # 37, Oscillococcinum by Boroin or Flu Buster by Homeocan are good treatments when used at the earliest onset of flu symptoms
Aconite homeopathic is good to have on hand for anything that comes on suddenly.  Even for emotional scares, like a near traffic accident, aconite is helpful to restore balance.  Keep this in mind for when there is stuttering from fear or anxiety.

Another product worth keeping on hand is ‘Febriplex’.  This is an especially effective for children, when coming down with cold, fever, flu and gripe. Most products that people choose tend to suppress the body’s functions.  Febriplex is a homeopathic plex that supports the body’s self-healing efforts.
Plexes (combinations) are helpful for motivating the healing process, and helping increase comfort.

Just a note of wisdom; sometimes emergency treatment is necessary.  Natural and 1st Aid basics can be employed even while proceeding to Medical care.  According to Steig Larsson,author of 'Girl with the Dragon Tatoo', if you are absolutely desperate for something to cover a wound and there are no bandages handy; our ever handy duct tape can keep a wound clean and effectively slow bleeding until you reach a medical facility.

The Sanity Section
For Mom:  Hormone - PMS and Menopause
Sepia – hateful/spiteful/ wants to be left alone
Pulsatilla – moody/weepy/consolable wants you near

Keep Grounded
Stopping frequently is essential for adults and children alike.  Stretching your legs once an hour or two at the most, is a great way to keep alert and grounded.  Switch drivers at least once every two hours.

Keep Hydrated
We often think we are hungry when the body is really crying out for water.  Hydration makes us more electrical.  It keeps our brains alert.  Water keeps our kidneys working well and flushing properly.

Keep Nourished
Healthy snacks are another way to nourish, hydrate and entertain.  Visiting Fresh Produce stands can be a great way of getting a break as well.  Traveling is usually a time when our systems can feel sluggish.

Pay particular attention to include fibre rich foods.  Fresh fruits, vegetables are essential for keeping our bowels working.  Reduce the glue foods like sugar, pasta, chips and refined flour.

Keep Rested
Avoid being over tired.  Stop for the night rest early and settle in and do something fun.  Nothing beats the ‘grumpies’ like a refreshed and well rested crew.

Keep Entertained
Pack efficiently.  Creating a clutter free space for each traveler reduces irritation for everyone.
Put some brain-space into preplanning your trip. Get your hands on some really great kid’s pastimes that work well in a confined space.  Hide them away and create a new surprise to open up each day of travel.  Create travel games.  Counting horses with spots, or being the first to spy non-home-province license plates, or playing interactive word games can be a fun way of putting in travel time.  My friend Amy brought along small DVD screens that could be attached to the back of the front seats. 

One very creative Dad I know took along dice.  This way the family could leave a lot of decisions to chance.  Stop?  Not stop?  Eat here?  Stop x minutes.  Who wins a decision score?

Drivers, invent a signal that means we’re off NOW!  What ever it is, make the signal consistent and tolerate no doddling. I remember traveling across the continent.  The signal was a final rev of the engine in neutral which meant ‘all aboard’.  After the first day, we were all ‘hopping to’ just like trained dogs.

Create an intention of FUN!  Even young children can appreciate that the purpose of the travel is to spend time enjoying each other.  Take lots of fun photos. Don’t be afraid to create whacky photos.  Consider writing an ongoing group travelogue for your trip.

Do you have some great ideas?  Please share.
Have a great summer and keep well_

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