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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Well Stocked Natural Child's First Aid Kit

From the moment a woman knows she is expecting she becomes concerned about anything and everything that goes into or onto her body. It is a known fact that our babies come into this world already exposed to environmental toxins beyond out control. What we can control is the types of products we buy to be used in taking care of our kids.

Kids can't bounce off the walls when there aren't any! Getting them outside is wonderful even if it increases the possibility of bumps and scrapes. Kids are meant to move. Give them every opportunity possible to experience the classroom and playground of the outdoors.

Having children is a lesson for any parent in putting the old Boy Scout rule into action: Always Be Prepared! Avoid the stress of being faced with a crisis (and to an over dramatic child any pain or sight of blood is a crisis) by having the supplies on hand for whatever turns up.

Here are a dozen products that no doubt will be needed at some point in raising children. Make your life easier by having such remedies on hand, as well as the peace of mind in knowing there are no warning labels needed.  Of course, always check with your doctor with any questions you have about anything when it comes to your children. Each of the products below have a highlighted link which will take you into the Etsy shop of Meadow Muffin Gardens for more information and shopping cart for purchase.

Children learn by doing, which means they will be using all five senses to check out whatever interests them. An active child is bound to get into a scrape now and then. Two absolute musts for the home first aid kit are a boo boo balm and a drawing salve.

Healing Boo Boo Balm

Herbal salves use the healing properties of nature's healers, such as Calendula, Comfrey, Plantain, St. Johnswort, Chamomile, Chickweed and Lavender. Nature's medicine has long been man's pharmacy, and over time certain plants have gained a reputation for helping with various conditions. These plants are infused in olive oil and then solidified with beeswax for long lasting salves and balms to deal with wound care, bumps and bruises, rashes and inflammation.

Black Drawing Salve
Scraped knees and splinters are probably the most common plights of our kids. Cuts and scrapes may look scary but once covered with a band-aid, they usually become something to talk about. Now a splinter and the fear of someone digging around to get it out is enough to bring on a child version of a panic attack. An old folk remedy for removing splinters is not to dig at all, but to cover with a salve made with ingredients to actually draw the foreign object to the surface while at the same time fight any brewing infection. Cover with a band-aid and in the morning often the splinter is gone.

Sunburn Relief Spray
Overexposure to the sun or a finger against a hot pot can result in painful first degree burns. The proper care for any minor burns is to first cool and release the heat in the damaged skin. Aloe and lavender are wonderful for immediate relief in the form of a spray. Aloe feels so pleasantly cool to the skin and used for soothing many a skin problem, but on a burn it is wonderful. For a burn that will need healing, the three plants we turn to for a salve are Comfrey, St. Johnswort and once again, Lavender. Applied early enough,  there is a good chance there won't be any peeling.

Sunburn, Minor Burn Salve

Outdoor adventures should be a part of every child's world, even if inevitably it means exposure to insect bites and poison ivy. Rather than worrying about the long term effects of using chemical products such as DEET, why not utilize the same thing the plants themselves use to protect themselves. The essential oils within plants are their own defense mechanisms to ward off disease and deter plant munching insects. These two body sprays are safe for children in that they either utilize only the properties of the herbs themselves or include only lavender as the essential oil. Essential oils are very concentrated and one has to use caution which ones are used on a child. Vinegar is the base for these sprays for three reasons; bugs don't care for it, it makes for great herbal infusions, and it evaporates, therefore there is no need to worry about smelling like vinegar.
 The two choices are Plantain, Yarrow and Comfrey and Plantain and Lavender combinations. 
Herbal Bug Spray
Herbal Bug Spray

Poison Ivy Spray
Exposure to the misery of poison ivy is a given if your child plays in the woods or open field or hedgerow. Poison ivy and camping are almost like partners to threaten your good time. Wherever there is poison ivy or nettles, you will probably see Jewelweed or Dock growing nearby. This poison ivy or nettles relief spray once again uses vinegar to extract the beneficial properties of the entire jewelweed plant.

Hurting Tummy Massage Oil
A hectic schedule, long hours in a car, fast food...any of these can be the culprit in the so common childhood complaint of a belly ache. This belly massage oil starts with peppermint infused olive oil and adds the essential oils fennel, chamomile, and lemongrass. All helpful to relief cramping and gas. A warm cup of peppermint or chamomile tea would be a very comforting addition to the belly massage.

Earache oil
The dread of every parent is the cry during the night that their child's ear hurts. Have a remedy on hand to get you through the night and by morning the earache may be significantly less or even gone. With the hesitancy of doctors to prescribe antibiotics, watchful waiting may be the better method of handling middle-ear infections in our children. But if you don't see any improvement after a day or two, don't hesitate to make that appointment.
Before the discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, garlic was relied heavily upon for the treatment of infection. Along with the garlic in this olive oil base are the antibacterial properties of Calendula, Mullein, and St. Johnwort. Just a bit of warmed oil in the hurting ear followed by a small wad of cotton to keep it from draining out, should help reduce the pain.

Sniffles, sneezing and scratchy throats are so common, yet if you nip a cold in the bud, hopefully it won't develop into anything. Give your child's immune system a boost with a few cups of a delicious tea made from lemons, honey and ginger root. The three ingredients are blended together and over time actually turn into a thick, pulpy syrup. A dollop in a hot cup of water or simply taken right off the spoon will ease a sore throat and fight the brewing infection.

Cold, Sore Throat Syrup

Vapor Rub
Headaches, sinus problems, and head colds can all be helped without resorting to the use of over the counter cold remedies. There is no need to give a child a product with potential problems if there are other options. Homemade vapor balms are herbal alternatives to Vick's. Applied to the temples, under the nose, on the chest and back, and even on the soles of the feet, any
will help with headaches and open up the airways to make breathing easier.

Sleepy Spray
Finally, there are going to be nights when your child just needs a little help calming down to fall asleep. This sleepy spray is ideal as an air spray or can be sprayed right onto the bed sheets. Chamomile, Lavender, Sweet Orange and Ylang Ylang are amazing at calming a parent's jangled nerves and the ticket for an overtired child to slip away into blissful sleep.

So, while your little super hero heads out to save the world, be prepared for anything!