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Child Health and Safety Archives

By Dr. Ladd Carlston

What if instead of taking Claritin®, Singulair® or Advair® – or instead of using an inhaler, you could fix the cause of why your child is having the allergy or Asthmatic response in the first place?

Unless your son or daughter has had allergies or asthma from birth, their immune system was normal until it went haywire and started over-reacting.  The immune system dealt perfectly at one time with what it now considers a foreign invader.

Think about that – IT WAS WORKING FINE.

Why the immune system is being overly sensitive to allergens in the environment is a question that not very many people in the medical community are asking.  Instead they just write a prescription for medication that suppresses the immune system.  If you’re ok with this then don’t rock the boat by reading further.  What you’re about to learn may shock you.

Here’s the deal – if your child’s body has been weakened by things like toxins, sugar or stress, the immune system becomes a runaway train because it’s not modulated by a healthy neuroendocrine cascade of hormones that isn’t working right because of the toxins, sugar or stress!  Simply put, the brakes have gone out on the immune system!

So it’s not the immune system that’s the problem.

If your child’s immune system was healthy at one point, and isn’t functioning like it should now – it’s a matter of restoring and rebuilding what CONTROLS the immune system.  Sure you can suppress the immune system directly with powerful pharmaceutical medications, but there’s an even better way.

I recommend 6 steps (part of which can be done with a sublingual spray):
1.  Re-set the pituitary gland – the master control gland that controls all the body’s hormones.
2.  Detoxify – not just through the colon, but also on a cellular level.
3.  Re-establish proper digestion through the use of digestive enzymes and systemic enzymes
4.  Re-inoculate the bowel with spore-forming probiotics
5.  Modulate the immune system
6.  Ensure adequate intake of critical vitamins and minerals.

The above steps can be powerful if used alone, but when done together, most kids find incredible relief from allergies.  If your child is struggling, then this may be your solution – and a way to prevent a lifetime of dependence on medication.

If you’re interested in more information about the products referred to above just let me know.  I can be reached at drladd@mindinmotionkc.com!

Eco+Logical Soiree Kansas City

The Eco+Logical Soirée is a new and exciting way for modern parents to connect with top-notch, eco-conscious companies.

You are invited to attend the FREE soirée on May 19, 2012. Drop by anytime from 6-9pm at the New Birth Company 9209 West 110th Street, Building 36 Corporate Woods, Overland Park, KS.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the mission behind some of the best products and services Kansas City has to offer while enjoying the company of other moms like you and The Soft Landing Team.

A Fun Gathering with a Purpose

  • Enjoy a laid back evening with local wine tasting by Rowe Ridge Vineyard (featuring Kansas grapes – who knew?) and hor d’oeurves provided by The Freedom Chef and The Local Pig (we’ll have organic Earth Mama tea for pregnant mama too!)
  • Schmooze with other amazing moms while you soak in the relaxing atmosphere of the New Birth Company
  • Connect with high quality, mission-driven companies offering products and services for your family
  • Live music by a local violinist

And you won’t want to miss the amazing Grand Prize Giveaway worth over $1,000!

Does Your Child Suffer from Ear Infections?

By Dr. Kezia Shine

Have you heard the latest on childhood ear infections?

Did you know that the #1 reason parents take their children to the pediatrician’s office is for earaches, with the most common diagnosis of Otitis Media (aka ear infection).  According to the Journal of the American Medical Association this diagnosis has increased by 150% in the last 20 years, with the most prevalent age group being under the age of 2.  But do you, as parents really know what otitis media is?  It is a general name for inflammation of the inner ear, that is characterized by pain and fever. Occasionally,  otitis media can cause fluid in the middle ear, which is why so many doctors jump to the option of tubes so quickly.

There are a certain population that is at a higher risk for ear infections. A study conducted by CDC showed that children who are exposed to secondhand smoke, and are bottle feed while laying down are at a greater risk.  When a child is given a bottle of milk while laying on it’s back, that milk can get into the ear canals.  Once the milk is in the ear canals, it ferments (because it is mainly sugar), and the bacteria have a hay day until the party explodes into a fever and lots of pain.  There are even some foods that are highly inflammatory to our bodies, such as dairy, wheat, soy, corn and peanuts that can complicate this condition.

The American Academy of Pediatrics passed new guidelines  in 2009 that stated to the doctors to limit the amount of antibiotics because the bacteria were developing resistance causing major problems if your child was to get really sick later in life.  A pediatrician, Dr. Hendley from the University of Virginia studied over 100 cases of otitis media treated with antibiotics. His conclusions were that it only helped 1 out of every 8 children. Another study published in the British Medical Journal stated the same findings.  So the truth is, is that there is little evidence to support the use of antibiotics to treat Acute Otitis Media, and the children are left with fluid in the ear, and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and GI problems such as diarrhea from the drugs.

If you are looking for a more natural non-invasive approach to helping your child through an ear infection you can take them to the pediatric chiropractor, in which an average of 4 visits resolves otitis media.  The reason this works is because the first vertebrae of neck can slip to the side, right or left, and when it does it puts pressure on the ear canal, not allowing the ear to drain as needed.  From a simple, very light adjustment, your chiropractor can realign this bone and release the pressure on the inner ear.  From my experience, 8 out of 10 patients with ear infections have this vertebrae out of place.  For another non-invasive approach, you can also put 2-3 drops garlic oil in the ear canal 2 times a day, which has shown to have a greater effect on ear infections than antibiotics.  Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory making it easy to help your child quickly get out of pain.  For questions on other childhood aliments, please do not hesitate to email or call my office.

By Joanie Whitman

The authors of The Reflux Diet Cookbook, Dr. Jamie Koufman and Dr. Jordan Stern, tested 30 varieties of prepared baby food for added acids using pH measurements.  Shockingly, they found that many had a pH of 4 and under.   The doctors released their findings on three major brands (some were even organic): jarred baby food

  • Gerber
  • Beech Nut
  • Earth’s Best

All 30 varieties tested contained some form of acid used as a preservative to lengthen the shelf-life of products – even the organic brands.  The authors explained that babies should generally be fed foods with a pH of greater than 5 and that more acidic food should not be included in the diet on a regular basis because it increases susceptibility to infant acid reflux.  They also pointed out that many foods are already highly acidic, so adding even more acid worsens the problem.

Inhabitots posted some helpful in-depth information on the inherent troubles with many prepared baby food:

It’s no secret that jarred baby food, even the organic variety, is far from perfect. In recent years, it has been discovered that a majority of jarred baby food, (including baby food from many top-notch organic brands), contains extra trans fat, sugar and sodium your baby doesn’t need — not to mention the BPA found in the metal lids of glass jars of baby food.

Added acid like citric acid, ascorbic acid and even folic acid can increase the acidity in your baby’s diet and thus may result in increased incidents of baby reflux. Yikes!

baby foodCould this be the cause of increased rates of acid reflux in babies? I’m sure it plays a part.  Just imagine how many babies are suffering from reflux and are given medications to control it when the simple solution might be some homemade food? Healthy baby food can be made at home without preservatives and allow you to rest easy by knowing exactly what it contains.

If you need help getting started please feel free to contact me. Itsabelly offers webinars, one-on-one consultations and classes (Coming Soon!) with all the keys to successfully creating Healthy Homemade Baby Food.

>> CLICK here for a printable PDF listing of the results of all the baby foods tested

What is PANDAS?

I never heard of PANDAS until this past summer when my friend’s son was diagnosed.  I wanted to get her real mom perspective and share her story.

What is PANDAS?

PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptoccocus.  It is an autoimmune response to a strep infection.  It is not caused by the infection itself but by the body’s response to the strep. We all know what strep is and know how common strep throat is amongst young children.  We have heard of other autoimmune disorders such as Lupus for example.

The human immune system is supposed to protect us from outside germs but with an autoimmune disorder the body gets confused and attacks our own body.  With PANDAS the child’s immune cells attack a part of the brain called the basal ganglia rather than the strep. It appears in children age 3 to puberty. PANDAS can cause sudden onset of nervous symptom disorders such as tics or rapid, jerky movements, OCD, sudden unexplainable rages, temper tantrums or personality changes, new or worsened ADHD, severe nightmares and new bedtime fears, age regression, new handwriting problems, loss of math skills, sensory sensitivies and more.

What happened to your 8 year old? What were the symptoms?

One day after school my son Zach got a flu shot (This has nothing to do with the shot itself).  Around dinner time he was playing on the computer. He started lifting his one arm and turning his head to the side.  This sudden tic was happening every 20 seconds.  Later he started to run around the kitchen island then sit in the chair. This would repeat every 20-30 seconds: run around the island, sit in the chair.

In the morning things escalated. Zach ran outside to touch the fence, came in and touched the wall and did it again and again. He was anxious and crying and saying “mommy, I can’t stop.”  I thought he had a brain tumor. We went to our family pediatrician.  The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong.  The next morning things were even worse. We rushed to urgent care.  The doctor did not immediately know what was wrong but started emailing all the other specialists. One doctor who specialized in OCD told him to take a strep test. The rapid test came back negative but the cultured test came back positive.  Zach started antibiotics and within 24 hours was remarkably better.  Over the coming weeks symptoms gradually lessened. It takes a long time for the antibodies to diminish and the symptoms to disappear completely.

What should other parents know?

Kids with tics or OCD have symptoms that build gradually, with PANDAS it is in a blink of an eye.

Looking back, Zach had escalating night terrors before his outbreak of PANDAS.

Children who are genetically predisposed to OCD or tics, such as those with ADD, ADHD, anxiety or on the autism spectrum, are most vulnerable to developing the PANDAS form of OCD.

You must be your child’s advocate. This is a relatively new (10-15 yrs) diagnosis and not every pediatrician is aware or believes it is real.  If you are not getting  the answers to your questions or the proper care I suggest urgent care so the can connect you with the right specialists.  We had to look outside of Kansas City for answers.

Some of the resources I recommend are:

International OCD Foundation – PANDAS Fact Sheet



The book and website http://savingsammy.net/

Thank you Susan for sharing your story!

Do You Have or Know a Child with ADD/ADHD?

By Dr. Kezia Shine

This new and rising condition is most commonly treated with Ritalin and Adderall. The sad thing is, is that these drugs are used to temporarily alleviate the symptoms and not treat the underlying problem.  This drug treatment is like taking the battery out of a screeching fire alarm instead of putting out the fire to get it to shut up.

A study was published in 1975 that compared chiropractic treatment to a drug controlled group of children with learning and behavioral impairments. It showed that Chiropractic care was “more effective for the wide range of symptoms common in the neurological dysfunction syndrome in which thirteen problem areas were considered. The authors Walton and Brzozowski also reported that chiropractic care was 24% more effective that commonly used medications.  This happens because any type of nerve irritation can cause interference of the signals, and these signals get mixed up. By relieving that nerve irritation, the nerve signals can flow smoothly to their final destination.

If you want to try a natural approach, chiropractic adjustments may be an option.  For less cost than medication, customized chiropractic care has helped many unique energetic children.  After an adjustment many seem to magically focus, and have a major attitude adjustment as well!.

In addition to the adjustments for this child, there also needs to be some changes at home, one of which being diet.  The most common connection between these kids are food allergies.  You might be saying, my kid doesn’t have food allergies, but trust me, if your child has been diagnosed with this condition try a little experiment.  Take them off of Gluten, Dairy and Red Dye 40 just for 2 weeks and see what happens.  You will be amazed at the positive changes that will occur.  There are several other drug-free Holistic and natural approaches to helping children and adults with ADD and ADHD.

Childproofing for the Holidays

By Joanie Whitman

As this festive time of year approaches, it is important to consider new safety concerns that may arise. Although holiday decorations and a trimmed tree may be part of your holiday traditions, they can pose a risk to young children. By taking a few precautionary measures you will be able to rest easy knowing your child will be enjoying this holiday season and creating specials memories along the way.

  • Securely attach breakable ornaments high on the tree out of the reach of children while only using paper or large plastic ornaments on lower portion of tree
  • Candles should be kept out of the reach of children at all times
  • Since poinsettias are not poisonous choose them over mistletoe (mistletoe berries are)
  • Pass on the table cloth and runners. Young children pull on them sending hot food and tableware flying
  • Unstable Christmas trees pose tip-over risk. Securely position your tree in stand and attach to the wall using durable twine and cord cleats for extra safety.
  • Wait till Christmas Eve to put presents under the tree. Torn wrapping paper and ribbons can pose a choking hazard
  • Keep small objects, such as hard candy or nuts in candy dishes, where younger children can’t get them.
  • When visiting family survey the house for safety concerns. Look for open stairs, uncovered outlets, unlocked medications and household cleaners within reach.

Physical harm such as choking on decorations or playing with the outlet where Christmas lights are plugged in are not the only concerns. Surprisingly, toxic chemicals like lead in PVC trees and lights also play a big role in creating an unsafe environment too.

Choosing a Safe Christmas Tree:
Most artificial trees are made from PVC plastic.  Not only is PVC loaded with toxic chemicals, its production also results in emission of dioxin and ethylene dichloride.  And to top it off, lead is often used as a stabilizer in PVC to make artificial trees more resistant to light and weathering.  Lead has been linked to kidney, liver, neurological and reproductive system damage.  Some Christmas trees are even required to carry warning labels because they shed lead-laden dust, exposing children to the toxic chemical.  Many artificial trees are also treated with flame retardants.  But that’s necessary for our safety, right?  Well not always – even the treated trees can still catch fire.
Real trees make the perfect substitute for a PVC tree.  Worried about allergies?  Go with fir and spruce varieties which do not contain irritating resins.  Fresh trees are a natural, renewable, reusable, recyclable source, and just think – you’re supporting US farmers and local businesses when you buy live Christmas trees.

If you’d still prefer to go with an artificial Christmas tree, be sure to choose one made from polyethylene (often labeled with “PE”) that hasn’t been treated with flame retardants.  If you find a PE tree you like and it has been treated, confirm with the manufacturer if the flame retardants non-halogenated, as they are considered much less toxic.

Locating Lead-safe Christmas Lights:
Toxic chemicals are also found in Christmas lights.  Most are made from PVC and lead is specifically chosen as the main stabilizer in the PVC casing used on the electrical wiring because of its flame retardant nature.  There are other substitutes like zinc and boron, but they are more expensive and not readily available.

The Ecology Center tested 68 Christmas light sets and found that 54% of the products contained more than 300 parts per million of lead in PVC encased cords and light-bulb sockets – a level higher than the CPSC’s standard for lead in children’s products.

Lead-safe lights can be found on rare occasions here in the U.S. and will be certified as RoHS compliant which monitors the levels of toxic chemicals allowed in electrical products.  Most RoHS compliant lights are also LED which is great, but more expensive. We found many options at Environmental Lights (look for their commercial strings that begin with the letter “C” or choose from their retail strings, icicle lights and nets).

Lead doesn’t like to stay bound in the PVC cord casing, so it sloughs off and ends up on hands and in little mouths. So if you’re unable to invest in RoHS lights this year, just be careful to keep Christmas lights out of reach of your little ones and use gloves while decorating your tree – especially if you’re pregnant. Also keeping dust around the tree cleaned up and off of presents will go a long way in protecting your family.

Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season!

Kohl’s and Children’s Mercy Healthy Play Day

What is S.T.A.R. Power?  An example of the goodness that comes from community partnerships! Kohl’s and Children’s Mercy Hospital teamed up to offer the Kohl’s and Children’s Mercy S.T.A.R. Power Program, a community outreach program supporting Strong, Talented, Authentic and Resilient kids.   

As part of this program a Free Kohl’s and Children’s Mercy Healthy Play Day will be held on Saturday, September 10th from 10:00 a.m. – Noon. There will be a variety of fun, healthy, kid-friendly activities for the public to enjoy free of charge. Activities include:

  • Inflatable Obstacle Course
  • Kids Yoga
  • Make Your Own Healthy Snack
  • Photo booths
  • Interactive games

Each participant will get a free cinch backpack with a pedometer, aluminum water bottle, nutrition resources and a $5 gift card to Kohl’s!

The event will take place under a large tent at the Kohl’s parking lot on 95th Street in Lenexa – just off of I-35 at 12381 W. 95th Street, Lenexa, KS. 66215.

If you want other ideas for family fun this weekend check out our online calendar.

Don’t Drink the Water!

Don’t drink the water! Pool water that is.

Ever sit at the pool and watch kids swallow pool water? How about watching big kids put water in their mouths and spit through their teeth at each other?  Totally disgusting right?  Well, even more so when someone has had diarrhea in the pool.

As most of Johnson County I imagine has heard by now, there was a significant outbreak of Cryptosporidium aka Crypto.  Basically Crypto is a germ found in the poop of an infected person or animal.  This microscopic parasite can survive for a long period of time outside the body, tolerate chlorine disinfection and cause diarrhea for 1-2 weeks.  You can read all about this germ on the CDC website.

Wait a minute!  We are really careful about using the bathroom and we don’t drink the pool water. You see our Overland Park subdivision pool is fortunate to have a lifeguard and every hour she blows the whistle for 10 minutes of adult-only swim.  This translates in to kids coming out of the pool and nibbling every hour.  But you know what? When we come out of the pool to have a snack we never go in the bathroom and wash with soap and warm water first.  Hmmm, I guess we just never thought about it.

We are thrilled NOT to be the ones who got sick.  It looks like we will be enjoying the slip-and-slide and sprinklers during these last days of summer!

My Kid Gets Anxious

My 8 year old gets anxious with new situations.

My first born loves routine and schedules.  This is a kid who tries to eat the exact same thing every day, gets up early even if he stays up late, and sits at the same kitchen chair for every meal and snack.

We try to push him out of his comfort zone within a safe environment.  Last week he started a new morning day camp.  The first day I parked the car and walked him to his counselor.  The second day was time for the circle drop off.  I kept reassuring him that “he could do it.” He kept saying “Mom, park the car.” and “Mom will you be here to pick us up?” His little sister was telling him “It will be fine.”  I could see every muscle tighten up as his anxiety escalated.  I attempted to focus on his role as big brother, you know, “Walk your sister to her counselor first.”  The door opened and he flat left his sister and ran to the basketball court to get to his counselor (about 20 steps away).

We are 30 days out from the start of a new school year and today he asked, “When do we find out about our teacher?”  I know his wheels are turning in his active little mind. The boy never stops thinking.

Last year when I was preparing for our Parenting Expo I asked the elementary school counselor to tell me about some issues she saw with the 5-11 year old kids.  You know what she responded?  THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE IS ANXIETY …followed by AND THE PARENTS MAKE IT WORSE.

Do you have an anxious kid? I would love to hear your tips below.  Also check out our Q&A from Allan Gonsher at Kids-Incorporated.

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