Chiropractic Care for Kids

Paediatric Chiropractic

Chiropractic is all about looking after the spine and the nervous system. This means that anyone with a spine and nervous system can benefit from chiropractic, and this includes children and babies! Many people are unaware that children can benefit from chiropractic care, as children don’t tend to have ‘back pain’. However, there is much more to chiropractic than assisting with neck and back pain. And the earlier someone gets under chiropractic care the sooner they can start seeing the benefits in their life.

 

What can Chiropractic Care affect?

While many people come to chiropractors to get relief from neck or back, there is actually much more what chiropractors do. Chiropractors feel for dysfunction in the spinal joints, and do specific adjustments in these areas in order to restore normal function. This can slow down the degenerative process, prevent injury, and minimize pain. Because the nervous system is so closely related to the spine the malfunction of any segment of the spine can impact the flow of information between the brain and the body. When chiropractors get the spine function correctly, they are also allowing the nervous system to function at its best. Because the nervous system controls every little thing in our body, it is very important to look after our nervous system.

 

Kids’ spinal development issues

Due to stresses from our daily lives, our spine can stop functioning properly. And children are not exempt from these stresses. Every child’s life begins with one of the biggest traumas we ever have to go through – birth. No matter how straightforward birth is, it still places a large amount of stress on the newborn’s spine and nervous system. Many births aren’t always straightforward and require interventions such as a Caesarean section or a ventouse. As children grow and learn to crawl and then walk, they will fall down thousands of times. While each fall may not hurt the child, the cumulative effect can place stress on their spines and stop them from working at their best.

 

Benefits of Chiropractic for kids

Children’s bodies and brains are radially growing and changing. Chiropractic can greatly benefit children as they physically and mentally grow. Because we are removing dysfunction from their spines, we allow their bodies to fully respond and recover to all their little bumps and falls. By making sure there is no interference to their nervous systems, we are ensuring that their brain can develop to its full potential. It also means that the brain can communicate effectively with their body in order to know exactly what is going on. This creates better body awareness which can help them heal when they do get hurt.

Some common childhood issues that chiropractic care can assist with include delayed milestones such as:

  • Crawling, walking, or other gross motor skills
  • Colic (crying and distress in an otherwise healthy baby)
  • Problems with latching, or feeding on one side
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bedwetting, among many others.

When a child’s spine and nervous system are functioning without interference, the brain can better understand what is happening in order to make a change.

 

Conclusion

Some people may be wary of getting their baby or child under chiropractic care as they may have been adjusted themselves or seen an adjustment done on someone else. However, babies and children are not adjusted in the same way that adults are. Chiropractors are specially trained in assessing and adjusting young spines. There are many different techniques that can be used on children that are safe and gentle and use significantly less force than adjustments used for adults, however, they are still extremely specific and provide amazing results.

Even if your child doesn’t seem to have any issues, it is a great idea to get them under chiropractic care early in order to assist their growing brains and bodies and to ensure their spines are healthy to prevent issues later on in their lives.

 

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Kids

 

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Children’s Posture and Wellbeing

Children’s Posture and Wellbeing

While adults may be aware of their own posture and how it affects them, they may not be aware that it is also very important to look after the posture of our children. Poor posture in kids can have detrimental effects not only while they are young but throughout their entire lives.

 

What is good posture?

Posture is the position our body is in when we are sitting or standing. Good posture places the least amount of stress on the joints and muscles within the body, especially in the spine. This helps keep the joints in the spine healthy and prevents damage over time, which usually leads to pain and other difficulties. When facing sideways our spine has natural curves that help take the stress of gravity off the individual joints. Good posture ensures that these curves don’t get increased or decreased. To maintain these curves our head should sit over our shoulders, and our shoulders should be in line with our hips. Our weight should also be going down evenly through our feet. When facing forward our head should be straight (not turned or tilted), and our shoulders and hips should both be at equal heights. Common posture mistakes in kids include bringing the head too far forward, rounding the shoulders forward, and flattening out the lower back when slouching in chairs.

 

How can a posture affect your child?

Poor posture

Poor posture may seem like something that just doesn’t look very nice, but having poor posture can actually be very detrimental to your child and their health. Here are just some of the effects of poor posture:

  • Back and neck pain, which can become chronic over time
  • Excess stress on spinal joints increases the degenerative process. You may think degeneration is only common in older spines, but it is becoming increasingly more common in the spine of teenagers and young adults
  • Compressing internal organs. This can cause breathing and digestive issues in children and can lead to issues such as heart disease and varicose veins later in life
  • Tight muscles. This can reduce the range of motion and can also lead to headaches
  • Decreased balance.

 

Good posture

And while poor posture can have some negative effects, there are many benefits of having a good one! Other than preventing what is mentioned above these benefits include:

  • Increased energy levels. When we have good posture our muscles aren’t working harder than they need to so that energy isn’t being wasted and can be used elsewhere
  • Improved core strength. When we are in a correct posture out core muscles stay engaged. This improves the strength of these muscles and also leaves us less susceptible to injury.
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved mood and decrease in anxiety levels. This is because when we hold our body in poor posture our muscles become tight, and this can trick your brain into thinking there is a threat. When we have good posture and our muscles are relaxed, this helps to calm our brain.

 

What can you do to help your child improve their posture?

It is quite clear that good posture is important, but it is not always as easy as telling your child to ‘stand up straight’. Here are some ways you can help your kid maintain a good one in order to keep them as healthy as possible:

  • Make sure they are eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Excess weight is currently one of the biggest causes of poor posture in children
  • Show them what good posture should look like. Practice with them in front of the mirror so they know what good posture looks and feels like
  • When they are using a phone or iPad encourage them to either lift it up to their face or lie on their stomach while using it. This will prevent them from leaning their head forward and decreasing their neck curve
  • When wearing a school bag make sure they are always wearing it on both shoulders in order to evenly distribute the weight
  • If possible when at home and sitting at a desk or table, get them to sit on something like an exercise ball. This discourages slouching when sitting and activates their core muscles, increasing strength and stability.

 

A poor vs. good posture

 

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The Birthing Process and Chiropractic

The birthing process is a very complicated process that puts a lot of stress on both the mother and the baby. Because birth is so complicated, numerous things can go wrong. However, chiropractic is an amazing tool for any expecting mother, that has benefits for both mum and baby. Before, during, and after labor, and helps provide a safe and comfortable birthing process. Here is how chiropractic can help at all stages of the birthing process.

Before Labour

It is important to get checked by a chiropractor from the beginning of your pregnancy, as being under chiropractic care allows your pelvis to comfortably expand and change in order to give space for your baby to grow. If the baby has room to grow comfortably this will allow them to be in the best position possible for when it is time to give birth1. However, some babies can sometimes end up in the wrong position for birthing – known as breech position.

Breech Babies

Most babies in the breech position need some type of intervention, such a a Caesarean section, to help them be born safely. There is a pregnancy specific chiropractic technique, called Webster technique, that focuses on balancing the pelvis, including pelvic muscles and ligaments. This can help take pressure off the uterus, and can result in the baby repositioning itself into the ideal position for birth taking away the need for extra interventions2.

During Labour

Because chiropractic balances the joints of the pelvis and gets the nervous system working at its best, this usually results in faster and easier births. This is due to a few reasons. As mentioned above, chiropractic care allows the baby to be in the best possible position for birth, it also makes sure that the mother’s pelvis is ready for giving birth. Because chiropractic clears interference from the nervous system, this allows the brain to be able to better control the uterus and cervix, allowing the birth process to happen faster and more smoothly3.

Chiropractic care and reducing labour time

Estimates show that women under chiropractic care, have on average a 25-30% shorter labour time than those who are not under chiropractic care4. When the labour can run without complications due to the baby’s position, this decreases the need for extra medical interventions, allowing for a safer and more comfortable birth for both mother and baby. Chiropractic also has an impact on pelvis floor muscles, giving them a better ability to relax when the pelvic floor muscles are at rest. These muscles are very important in giving birth. When these muscles are working properly, it increases the chances of being able to have a safe, natural vaginal birth5.

After Labour

Chiropractic is important for the mother both before and after giving birth. Because it equips her body to be able to bounce back to normal as quickly as possible. If there was for some reason some type of trauma during the birth, chiropractic increases the body’s healing capabilities, allowing the mother to heal as fast and effectively as possible4.

Even a safe, fast birth can still cause a lot of trauma and stress on the newborn baby’s system. It’s important to check after birth so chiropractors can find any areas of stress caused by the birthing process. Then remove them using extremely gentle and safe techniques, specific for very young children. From the moment babies are born, their brain and body start growing and adapting. Chiropractic clears their nervous system from any stress that may have been caused by the birthing process, which allows them to grow and function at their very best.

References:

  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2019, October 31). Chiropractic care during pregnancy: Safety and benefits. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/
  2. Spinning Babies. (2015, February 19). Professional help. https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/techniques/professional-help/
  3. The WOMB. (n.d.). Chiropractic care. https://www.thewomb.ca/index.php/services/chiropractic-care
  4. Borggren, C. L. (2007). Pregnancy and chiropractic: A narrative review of the literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 6(2), 70-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004
  5. Haavik, H., Murphy, B. A., & Kruger, J. (2016). Effect of spinal manipulation on pelvic floor functional changes in pregnant and Nonpregnant women: A preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(5), 339-347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.04.004
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File:The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli-Uffizi.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Diabetes - Credit to https://www.semtrio.com/ | Must Credit … | Flickr

Blue Light: The Good & The Bad

Every sort of screen emits blue light and how many hours do we spend sitting in front of a screen every day? We are looking at screens every day whether it is watching shows, scrolling through social media, or doing office work. By the end of the day, we probably spend a good 12-15 hours on a screen. As a result, we will definitely be affected by blue light somehow. So today we’ll break down some of the effects of blue light.

 

Pros

  • Blue light helps regulate our circadian rhythm. Blue light can be found in the sun. Every day we are woken up by blue light. It is what triggers us to wake up. Without it, we will be in hibernation most of the time.
  • Blue light stimulates alertness, memory and cognitive function. This is because blue light increases the speed of neuron growth and strengthens neuron connection in the hippocampus. As a result, we become more focused and retain information a lot easier.
  • Apart from brain growth, blue light also stimulates eye and vision growth. Children at a young age needs to be exposed to a moderate amount of blue light in order to for their eyes to grow. The key work there was MODERATE. Too much blue light can also be bad but we’ll touch on that later. Some studies show that too little blue light can actually stunt growth and can cause near sightedness.

Cons

  • Blue light decreases sleep quality. While blue light keeps us up it decreases melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone created in the pineal gland that controls sleep cycles. Due to the shorter wave lengths from blue light, the body becomes more sensitive to it as a result, delta brainwaves which is induces sleep is also supressed.
  • Too much blue light can lead to eye strain. Human eyes are not very good at filtering out blue light due to the shorter wave length. Since the wave lengths are shorter, it scatters more than other colours making it harder to focus. At the same time it reduces contrast in other colours. As a result, our eyes need to work extra hard to filter out this out unnecessary colours thus leading to eye strains.
  • Finally, too much exposure of blue light may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. Again due to the shorter wave length of blue light, it is easy for it to penetrate the retina (the inner lining at the back of the eye). This is where most of the light sensitive cells are located in the eye. Too much blue light can actually damage these cells. As these cells degenerate further, it can lead to permanent loss of vision.

 

Blue light is a natural source of light that can be found anywhere. This light is very important since it helps with waking us up, increasing brain function and growth. But due to technology and lifestyle we may be being overexposed. Too much of anything can be bad, with blue light it decreases sleep quality, lead to eye strains and may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. There are a couple of ways to decrease the effects of blue light. One, spend less time in front of screen. Especially 30-60 minutes before you go to sleep so you can increase sleep quality. Second, wear glasses that filter out most of this light. This way your eyes will be less stressed. Remember blue light in moderation is good but too much of it can worsen your health.

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Blue Light | djmicromix.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/blue-a-tech… | Flickr

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

What changes does the body go through during pregnancy and how can chiropractic care help?

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing as you are growing a brand new human inside of you. However, while this is happening, it causes a lot of changes in your own body too. Different changes happen throughout different parts of your pregnancy and will differ from mother to mother, as no two pregnancies are the same. While these will be different for everyone, these are some of the changes you can expect as you progress through your pregnancy.

First trimester in pregnancy

It is very common during early pregnancy to feel very fatigued and low on energy, as your body adapts to all the changes it is going through. It’s also common to experience some nausea and vomiting due to the pregnancy hormones, these may also cause some emotional symptoms. You will likely need to urinate more as the baby starts growing and starts pressing on your bladder. Heartburn, constipation, and lightheadedness are all common in the first trimester. You will also start noticing skin, breast, vaginal, and stomach changes.

Second trimester in pregnancy

Most women have a lot more energy in the second trimester than they do in the first trimester, and are less likely to experience nausea and vomiting. Your stomach will continue to grow as your baby does. Your skin will continue to change. You may start experiencing pain in your legs due to the growing baby placing pressure on nerves and blood vessels. You may also start to experience pain in your back, hips, and pelvis. This can be because of the pressure your growing belly is putting on these areas, and because your ligaments start to relax to allow your pelvis to move in order to be ready for childbirth. You may also experience some stomach pain as the muscles and ligaments supporting your uterus stretch.

Third trimester in pregnancy

It’s normal to start to feel fatigued again. You will feel your baby start to move more and are likely experience some swelling throughout your body due to slower blood circulation and fluid retention. Some women experience numbness and tingling in your arm and legs due to increased pressure on the nerves throughout your body. You will likely still experience the same types of pain as you did in the second trimester.

How can chiropractic assist me through my pregnancy journey?

As you can see above your body goes through numerous changes as you go through your pregnancy journey. It is important to give your body as much support as you can throughout this time, and chiropractic is a safe and natural way to assist your body to be as strong and healthy as it can be while you are growing a baby inside of you. There are many different chiropractic techniques that can be utilised for the pregnant body, and all chiropractors are trained in how to provide care specific for a pregnant person. Here are just some of the ways that chiropractic can assist you on your pregnancy journey.

1. Lower back pain

As your stomach grows this changes your posture, your weight bearing, and the way you walk. All of this puts stress on the joints of the lower spine, which can sometimes result in lower back pain. Chiropractic is able to get those joint moving and functioning properly, which decreases the stress on them, and regularly results in less pain.

2. Balance pelvis

The ligaments of the pelvis relax and the pelvis expands as the baby grows. This however can sometimes cause weakness and pain in the hips and pelvis. Chiropractic makes sure all of the joints are moving and functioning well, so as they move and change they are still strong, stable, and balanced. This can decrease pain levels and allows the pelvis to safely expand to allow room for the baby to grow and move into the best position possible.

3. Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain during pregnancy is usually caused by stretching of the ligaments that are attached to the uterus, as the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. This tends to cause cramping and discomfort. There are specific chiropractic techniques, such as Webster technique, that help to relax these ligaments to ease pain and cramping as they stretch.

4. Decrease pain killers

Anything that the mother ingests, the baby will also take into their system. Chiropractic has been shown to remove up to 85% of pain symptoms that pregnant people experience, thus reducing the need for painkillers, and decreasing the baby’s exposure to these medications while in the womb.

5. Increase nervous system function

Chiropractic is all about removing interference from the nervous system so that it can work at its best. As the nervous system is the master controller of all body systems, including the reproductive system, chiropractic care allows the body to function at its best while it is going through all the changes of pregnancy. This is why people notice other benefits other than those mentioned above, such as increased energy and less heartburn, and why chiropractic is extremely beneficial in all stages of pregnancy.

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Pregnancy - Chiropractic

 

5 Reasons to go to the Child Chiropractor

Are you a parent and want to know how a child Chiropractor can improve your child’s posture, overall health and well being?

No parent wants to see their children in pain or constantly sick, but it does happen from time to time.  Children occasionally get headaches, suffer from allergies, get earaches, have back pain and most have terrible postures.  Basically, the list is endless.  As a parent, you know that children are like magnets to injuries, pain, and illness.  Although most are minor, care should be sought, but where should you turn?  Instead of heading to your child’s GP, head to a local chiropractor for chiropractic care.  Why?

1 – A Child Chiropractor can Safety Treat Your Child

Chiropractic care is gentle, natural and non invasive.  A child chiropractor knows and has several tools and techniques to adjust your child’s spine ever so gently. For that reason, it is safe.  If your child experiences pain and discomfort, their primary care physician is likely to suggest over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribe prescription medication.  This may work, but the pain usually returns.  Why?  They only mask the problem.  Yes, some forms of pain and discomfort may disappear on their own with time and self-care, but there may be a more serious underlying issue.  You will not know unless you turn to a chiropractor.  Their job is to treat the pain by going directly to the source and fixing the problem.

Chiropractic care involves manual, hands on, therapy.  Since medications are not prescribed and the hands provide treatment, it is safe for individuals of all ages, including children.

2 – A Child Chiropractor Can Treat a Wide Range of Problems

Many adults mistakenly believe that chiropractors only treat spinal, back, and neck problems.  Yes, this is their specialty, but more is offered.  For example, did you know that a chiropractor can treat and lessen the onset of earaches and ear infections?  They can.  Blocked draining pathways cause most ear infections.  Chiropractic adjustments are used to open up those pathways and promote the proper flow of fluid.  Basically, if your child is experiencing pain, no matter how often or severe, a chiropractor can provide relief and that relief is usually long-lasting.

3 – It Is Easy to Find a Child Chiropractor

If you are unfamiliar with chiropractic care, you may have not given any thought to the offices in your area.  You may have driven past one each day on the way to work.  A standard google internet search can find you a local chiropractor. Be sure to check out their google reviews. Call and schedule an appointment for your child.  It really is as easy as that!

4 – The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Child

There are many benefits to chiropractic care.  As previously stated, medications are not prescribed.  Treatment is natural and safe.  It is also long-lasting, as chiropractors do not mask the pain, they treat it.  As a parent, this should be very important.  Successful chiropractic care can allow your child to return to their happy normal self.  Reduced pain and increased mobility means more fun and less suffering even into their adulthood.

Potential benefits of Chiropractic care for babies and kids:

  • Encourages good neural plasticity (brain and nerve development).
  • Supports overall health and well being.
  • Helps strengthen immunity and potentially reduce the incidence of colds, ear-aches and general illness.
  • Assists with colic and Irritable Baby Syndrome.
  • Helps with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies.
  • Encourages good spinal posture.
  • Helps improve concentration.
  • Assists with behavioural disorders.
  • Helps alleviate digestive problems.
  • Assists with bed-wetting and sleep issues.

Check out the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website and the articles below for some great information.

5 – Some Health Insurance Policies Cover Chiropractic Care

It is no secret that raising kids is expensive.  Add in the cost of medical care, and the overall cost soars.  Luckily, many insurance providers extend coverage for chiropractic care.  If your family is not covered by medical insurance, there are still benefits to seeking care.  Just look for a chiropractor with affordable rates or one who is willing to set up a flexible payment plan.

 

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Child Chiropractor - Auckland Chiropractor

Children and Mobile Phones

Children mobile phones - text neck

Research has shown us not to let children use mobile phones, either as a toy or to talk on. Their skulls are thinner and smaller than an adults and they will absorb more radiation into their developing brain.

If you have not already seen the documentary Mobilize, there is now an opportunity to watch it for free here. You can also find out more about the film by going to the Mobilize website here.

There are more informative links on cell phones and cancer, and also tips for safer cell phone use below.

Mobile phones and cancer in humans

Links to more studies are below:

Radio-frequency (RF) radiation in the microwave range produced by cordless and mobile phones. Cordless phone bases and cell phone towers have been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B).

Cellular phone use safety tips:

We realise that many people have jobs that require them to use a cellular phone in their day to day lives. While there is probably no way to make cellular phone use completely safe, there is information to help you reduce the risks of unavoidable cellular phone risk.

Ideally, cellular phone use should be minimised. The more cellular phones are used, the more cellular phone infrastructure is needed to support the phones use. Living close to cellular phone base stations has been associated with increased risk of cancer in several studies.

Mobile Phone use and Skeletal Alignment

If exposure to radiation and providing endless distraction isn’t enough… cell phone usage is responsible for yet another hazardous side effect! Text neck!

Chiropractors have observed that most people hunch over their mobile phones and developing neck and back strain, headaches, achy shoulders and even in their arms and hands.

If you are experiencing symptoms similar to the above and would like a professional opinion, then go see your chiropractor or feel free to contact Revolution Chiropractic.

Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your Appointment at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 5 Sleep

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 5 Sleep

Sleep

Poor sleep habits can also contribute to unnecessary stress in the household…

If a child does not wake up easily and with energy each morning, this could indicate they are not getting enough quality sleep. This in turn will affect their personality, their learning and their health in general.

Tired children cannot concentrate, learn tasks, or play sports well. And just like adults, typically tired children crave sugary foods that leave them prone to yeast imbalances.

The parents role

As parents, we often miss our child’s ‘tired cues’ and then we have great difficulty trying to put them to bed when their brain has moved back into fourth gear. If your child consistently wakes up tired or is slow in the morning, then try getting them to bed an hour earlier for a period of time and watch how this can transform grumpy or emotional behavior. Over the years I have learnt that a set routine for dinner and bedtime makes getting to sleep earlier easier, and life easier for everyone. This means aiming to feed children early—well before they are tired. Plan an ideal time for bed and give yourself plenty of time for baths and the reading of evening books, etc. Some nights you will be able to have luxurious, long baths and other nights you will need to be drill-sergeant.

It is a good idea to limit the number of late nights that children have in a week. With social, school and family activities, bedtimes can gradually become later and later for older children; however, sleep requirements remain just as vital for teenagers as when they are younger. It turns out that teenagers may actually need more sleep than in their
younger years.

Looking for a Kids Chiropractor in Auckland? We’ve got you covered! 🙂

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This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & SPARTAFIT

Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 4 Immune System

By Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 4: GET DIRTY – Benefits to the Immune System

Many of us have been led to believe that germs are the root of all evil. And that we should go to great lengths to avoid them…

Anti-bacteria hand creams, sprays, and wipes, fill our handbags and counters. Yet, compelling research tells us that we have gone too far. Some exposure to pets, dirt, and other children, for example, are vital for stimulating the immune system to work effectively. In experiments where we grow animals in completely sterile (germ-free) environments, their immune systems do not develop normally. In a conclusion, they develop severe immune diseases, including allergy and autoimmunity.

When our “microbiome” (our internal network of helpful and harmful bacteria) becomes imbalanced, our digestion, immune function, state of mind, and general health and wellbeing in time become compromised. Scientists now believe, an imbalanced microbiome to be one of the primary causes of several diseases and disorders. Such as:

  • Chronic infection
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal just a few months ago stated that “the disruption of the gut balance [is linked] to an increasing number of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies, and asthma.”

Studies now tell us that exposure to dirt and germs is incredibly essential. We need regular exposure to bacteria and viruses to strengthen our immune system. In our own homes, among our own families, we want to take the opportunity to build up our immune systems.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Letting children crawl on the floor is fine, playing in the dirt is a good thing; we encourage having family pets and sharing a spoon with your sister is, again, fine.
  • Cleaning away visible dirt or grime on any surface — sinks, floors, or door handles with thorough washing and cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals — is usually enough without constant sterilizing. And also using disinfectants such as bleach (which probably kills everything in the air around it, too!).
  • Washing our hands with simple soap dislodges and removes surface particles without stripping everything on the skin. Antibacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria. They also strip the skin of the environment it needs to sustain good bacteria.
  • Be less concerned about germs but instead focus more on considering how strong is your child’s digestive power and immune system.

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