Myths That Might Be Harming Your Child’s Health

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We all care about the health of our children and we often look to the wisdom of our elders or the most commonly spread tales when it comes to children’s health. However, often this isn’t the best place to look for sound medical advice. Here, we’re going to look at myths that get spread around often. They’re well intentioned, but they’re worth questioning.

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Feed a cold, starve a fever

It’s an old one, and it has a certain lyrical quality to it. However, the idea that you shouldn’t feed a child with a fever isn’t just misinformed, it’s harmful. Regardless of what illness they have, you should ensure your child eats healthily unless told otherwise by a doctor. If they’re having trouble eating solid foods due to symptoms, then you can always go for chicken noodle soups. But our bodies need nourishment to recover from illness. By starving a fever, you’re depriving the body of the nutrients and energy it uses to fight off illness.

Give them antibiotics

When your child is visibly in distress, it can easily make you worry and rush to the doctor to demand antibiotics. But the truth is that most illnesses in children are viral, not bacterial, meaning that antibiotics do nothing. In fact, they can have long-term harm. People who take antibiotics more regularly than they should make their own bodies more resistant to them in the long-term, decreasing their effectiveness. If you’re worried about the risk of illness, consider preventative measures like Viralex Kids Immune Chews to improve their immune system. Otherwise, listen to your doctor and let them tell you when it’s time to use antibiotics. Studies have found that many paediatricians will give antibiotics on request to give parents peace of mind, but that’s often not a wise move.

Don’t wipe, let their immune system grow stronger

Some contact to bacteria does help our immunes system adapt. That’s true. But the idea that you shouldn’t wipe down kitchen counters just because you want your child to be exposed to bacteria can be hugely harmful. We limit bacteria exposure because we know how dangerous infections are. Especially given some of the bacteria hotspots in the kitchen, and the particularly dangerous kinds that can be found in raw foods, you should soundly ignore the advice to expose your child willfully to bacteria.

They’re too young to exercise

A lot of people hear the dangers of children exercising too much, including long-term injuries. However, these cases are the extreme. If you’re worried about your child’s exercise, you can look at the Ministry of Health’s recommendations of how to get your child more active.

It’s fine to give children over-the-counter medicine

Because you can buy it over-the-counter, many assume that medicines are entirely safe. That’s not true and you should never take that cavalier attitude to medicine. None of them are risk-free and many of them carry a much higher risk to children. Aspirin, for instance, can result in Reye syndrome in people under 18. If your child is under 4, don’t give them OTC medicine without speaking to your doctor about it. Otherwise, make sure you read and completely understand dosage and effects in children older than 4.

When in doubt, ask your paediatrician and listen to what they have to say. Your instincts can lead you to worry when you should but they can also make you rely too much on emotions and not on fact.


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