Homeopathy for Children
Homeopathy is very well suited to the treatment of childhood illness. It is effective and easy to administer to babies, toddlers and children.
Children respond extremely well to the homeopathic consultation and homeopathic remedies. Parents bring their children to homeopaths because children respond so well and they actually enjoy coming in to clinic. Homeopathy can really change a child’s life, both physical and psychologically, with the correct remedy. And you can help make a parent’s and family’s life much easier and much better.
For example a child comes into clinic to be treated for a skin condition. A homeopath will examine the child physically and will observe the behaviour and ask questions to determine the emotional and mental state. A homeopathic remedy will be chosen which will improve the child’s skin, but also help with their general health, temperament and overall wellness. As a result, the parent will often notice improvements in other areas such as sleeping, eating habits, digestion, reduction in anxiety and improvement in concentration, even though the child was bought in to clinic for a skin condition!
Homeopathy is not only suitable for physical conditions, but has been proven successful in the treatment of childhood emotional problems such as anxieties, night terrors and concentration and behavioural difficulties.
Homeopathic medicines are wonderfully effective for hyperactive children (and hyperactive adults), though this doesn’t necessarily mean that a remedy will “cure” them. Sometimes, the remedy will simply settle them down and help them feel more in control of their mind and therefore they are able to concentrate better and think more clearly.
One study of 43 children with hyperactivity found a statistically significant benefit in those given an individually chosen homeopathic medicine. After the first phase of the study, the children who were given a placebo were then given a homeopathic medicine, and there was again a statistically significant improvement in their health.
[References: Frei, H, Everts R, von Ammon K, Kaufmann F, Walther D, Hsu-Schmitz SF, Collenberg M, Fuhrer K, Hassink R, Steinlin M, Thurneysen A. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr., July 27,2005;164:758-767. John Lamont, “Homeopathic Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” British Homeopathic Journal, Vol. 86, October, 1997, 196-200.]
Homeopathy is effective for the treatment for childhood ear infections. Results are often rapid when there is acute inflammation and infection and following long term treatment recurrence of infection is less and therefore fewer antibiotics are prescribed.
According to a recent study of 75 children with otitis media (middle ear infection) that was published in Paediatric Infectious Disease Journal, parent’s diary scores showed a significant decrease in symptoms at 24 and 64 hours after treatment in favour of those given a homeopathic medicine. There were also 20% less “treatment failures” in children given a homeopathic medicine as compared with those given a placebo.
[Reference: J Jacobs, DA Springer, D Crothers, Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Otitis Media in Children: A Preliminary Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial, Paediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 20,2 (February 2001):177-183.]
Antibiotics may have a place in treating ear infections but not necessarily as a treatment of first choice. Medical guidelines for the use of antibiotics in acute ear infections in children is actually that they should be avoided for the first three months and only used in complicated cases where there may be a risk of rupture of the eardrum. It may surprise some people to learn that a meta-analysis of the best studies on ear infection (British Medical Journal, 1997, 87:pp.466-74) found no benefit of using antibiotics as compared to placebo.
Some evidence suggests that administration of antibiotics leads to an increase in the number of ear infections and ‘glue ear’ compared to those children who received homeopathy. It is too common that antibiotics are prescribed to newborns, even for simply having a reddened ear. The long-term consequences are recurrence of ear infections, a depleted immunity and digestive disorder.
Childhood problems that respond particularly well to homeopathic treatment include:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Ear, Nose and Throat
- Behavioural Problems
- Learning Difficulties
- Asthma, Allergies and Hayfever
- Early Childhood Problems
- Eczema and Skin Rash
- Colds and Flu
Homeopathy and Pregnancy
Homeopathy has a great deal to offer the pregnant woman, during both the pregnancy and delivery. One of the fantastic things about homeopathy is that it can be used safely by the pregnant/breastfeeding woman with no fear of it interfering with the baby. In fact, each year more and more midwives train in homeopathy so that they can administer it as part of their general care for the expectant mother.
Homeopathy and Acute illness in Children
Acute (short term) complaints can be successfully treated in children using homeopathy. Children are generally quick to respond in regard to acute illness; however a homeopath may suggest a follow up appointment to treat a child constitutionally for their improved health and well being.
Homeopathy and Chronic illness in Children
If your child has a chronic ( long term) illness, the homeopath will usually recommend a follow-up visit after three to four weeks. As improvement is noticed appointments will be less frequent, and when well, a six monthly check up is recommended.
Children respond to remedies in different ways, therefore a course of homeopathic treatment may be started with a certain type of remedy e.g. Pulsatilla (a plant remedy), and a marked improvement may not become evident until a deeper acting remedy e.g. Phosphorus (a mineral remedy) is prescribed. Each remedy is prescribed according to homeopathic principles and dosing and will be unique to each child. The subtlety of homeopathy means that better results always arise from consultation with a skilled and qualified practitioner.
Longer standing complaints may require repeated doses of a remedy in different potencies. In a chronic complaint such as eczema or ADHD, a course of treatment over several months may be required to bring about long lasting results.