My husband always says that the best way to get a healthy person sick is send them to the doctor’s office. I agree with that sentiment. Especially after recently being at my doctor’s for a post-baby follow up and then a recent stint in emerge with my youngest son. SO many sick people! Yikes!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while or if you know me personally, you’ll already know that I tend to lean towards a holistic, natural approach to health. We do not participate in the seasonal flu shot, a personal decision based in part on my own injury I sustained from the flu shot in my early 20’s. Did you know that the CDC’s estimate of the 2018-2019 Flu Shot’s effectiveness was only 29% for all ages (and strains) and only 24% in children ages 6 months to 8 years? (source)
If you choose to get the flu shot I would highly recommend researching the dangerous complications that can be involved with the flu shot as well as the possibilities of viral shedding associated with it. That is my own personal opinion based on my own research and education. Feel free to disagree, I’m not offended! I’d be happy to share my resources on this topic, if you are interested.
This blog is not intended to replace medical advice. I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I claim to be. Always consult with your chosen medical professional when needing medical advice for illness.
Here are 5 ways I protect and promote good health in our home:
- I protect our sleep. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says, “Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.” (source) I sleep train. I think it’s important to get good, restorative sleep however you can, in your family. That will look different for every family. For us this is sleep training, set bedtimes and making sleep a top priority. Sleep is critical to good health and we’ve seen this! I respect their schedules and I plan my day around their sleep. Literally. As adults in our home, we try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and it’s made a huge difference in our resistance to illness. However you can get good sleep in your home, I wish you the best!
- I keep our exposure to germs to a minimum. We stay home quite a bit during times when illness seems to spike around us. Because it’s possible that people around us receiving the influenza vaccine are able to shed the virus, we tend to bunker down that time of year and support our immune systems by avoiding exposure to the virus. Are we still exposed to germs? Of course! Do we get sick? Yes. Has anyone had the flu in our family? No. We’ve battled some colds and upper respiratory infections but my children have never had chronic bouts of diarrhea and vomiting that is associated with influenza. I myself have not had the flu since I stopped receiving the vaccine years ago. I’m not saying it’s impossible for us to catch the flu but if we do, we will be prepared. We also practice good hygiene by diligently washing our hands and disinfecting the home with my homemade non-toxic cleaning products! I also label the boys’ nose Frieda’s and soothers to cut down on the transmission of germs, with my Brother Label Maker.
- Elderberry syrup, vitamin D and probiotics. When Hudson turned 1, I started giving him elderberry syrup, which is full of antioxidants, helpful in boosting the immune system during times of illness. It typically has raw honey in it so I waited until he was at least a year old. Both boys get probiotics and vitamin D to promote a healthy gut and immune system. I also take these things and have found success with boosting my immunity when I’m feeling run down. This is the probiotic I use with the boys and Vitamin D as well.
- Essential Oils– Throughout my blog you’ll find oils linked that are brands I use and trust. During cold and flu season I like to diffuse cinnamon, clove, tea tree, lavender, or peppermint for immune support. Roman Chamomile and Copaiba are great oils for infants and toddlers. I am very careful with dilution around my babies and I would recommend researching dilution guidelines.
- Chiropractic Care- This alone has been significant in the health of our family. I literally can not recommend it enough. When Jack was sick, it was only after being adjusted that we saw his very high fever break and gradually come down on it’s own. I personally didn’t grow up with it but once I started going I don’t know how I managed my entire life without it!
Not listed but incredibly important is proper nutrition for keeping a strong immune system. This is a journey for us as a family. We don’t typically eat organic foods but are slowly working our way towards buying more local meat and produce. We are aiming to cut down on refined sugars and grains and choose more nutrient dense food. Food alone is a powerful tool in the way our bodies fight illness.
I love a holistic approach to health because it’s taught me to listen closely to my body. Since my children can’t tell me how they feel, I’ve learned to watch them and weigh things. I do not deny my children access to medical care and they have been seen by doctors when they’ve been sick. I take illness seriously but I also arm myself with information so I can better understand how to support our immune systems.
I think researching things in regards to health is more than important. It’s necessary in order to make well informed choices. It takes a lot of time and effort. I find time to study and research things because I want to make well informed decisions. I can’t stress enough-do all the research! *And you don’t have to have a degree or a certain level of education to inform yourself, FYI. If I can do it, you can too =)
Do you practice natural ways to support your family’s immune system? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Edited September 2019
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