Summer is in full swing. and what a summer it is turning out to be!
Lots of sun and heat make for great cottage or beach days, but they can also bring little health annoyances that can ruin the fun for kids. Here are some natural solutions to a few of summer’s nagging problems.
- Prevention is the best medicine here. Cover up or look for shade, and avoid the sun from 11AM-3PM.
- For a look at the best sunscreens, check out the Environmental Working Group’s top picks.
- Eat foods containing lots of antioxidants like berries, watermelon, peaches, and citrus. This can help little bodies deal with the oxidative damage of the sun. And if little ones do get burned, aloe gel applied often and liberally is soothing and helpful!
Prevention is difficult here without staying indoors or using toxic chemicals, but here are a few suggestions to manage bug populations:
- Drain sources of stagnant water sources
- Plant marigolds around your yard.
- Install bat boxes
For natural repellents, you can try Dr. Mercola’s list, which includes: Vick’s Vaporub®; cinnamon leaf oil; clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil; citronella soap and 100% pure citronella essential oil; catnip oil.
When the bug bit happens we love Orange Naturals Bites + Stings cream. It works great!
Lots of swimming means lots of opportunities to collect water in the outer ear canal. Add that to the heat-driven increase in the number of critters growing in the ponds, lakes, and pools kids swim in, and the conditions are ripe for a case of swimmers ear. Some tips:
- Prevent swimmers ear with a couple of drops of part rubbing alcohol part vinegar after swimming.
- If an infection has already taken hold we love St. Francis Ear Oil. This lovely natural remedy combines the herbs mullen, St. John’s wort, and garlic. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and provides pain relief–great for getting on top of swimmers ear.
- More info for treating this naturally check out Dr. Axe’s guide.
If ear symptoms persist for more then 3-4 days, it’s best to have a regulated health professional have a look to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand and antibiotics are not needed.
Athlete’s Foot and Other Fungal Infections
This summer’s heat is making lots of sweating a given–the perfect environment for fungal infections. Again, prevention is the best medicine:
- Always wash hands and feet after playing.
- Change sweat-stained clothes frequently during a day.
- Make an anti-fungal spray of diluted apple cider vinegar. Spritz it on clean, dry feet (or other areas) and allow it to dry. Fungus hates acid and will die off.
Kids are so in the moment. They’re just so happy playing around they forget to drink! Dehydration is a pretty common problem, so remind them to drink regularly during the heat waves. If you want to avoid Gatorade or other sugary electrolyte drinks, try all-natural coconut water. It’s delicious and full of electrolytes without all the sugar of a Gatorade. You can even make your own sports drink!
For more serious concerns, remember that Dr. Bronwyn is StoneTree Clinic’s resident child health guru, with a love for treating all things kid-related!