My toddler is ALWAYS sick! - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-16-2006, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have any advice for me? My 17 mos. old daughter seems to always be sick, literally every 2 1/2 weeks after she gets over some illness she's already got another one. Family and friends are starting to make comments now and are accusing me of doing something wrong because they also see that she is always either getting over something or coming down with something. It's usually a cold but sometimes it's a fluish type illness. She's only had one ear infection and rarely has fevers, it just seems that her immune system is AWFUL! Originally I just figured it was because she lives with 6 other people in our house and has never lived a sheltered life (I bring her everywhere with me). She's never been in daycare and isn't immunized (yah, and I'm getting sick of mainstreamers telling me that they just "know" her many illnessess are due to her not being vaccinated, which I'm very aware has absolutely no basis). Anyway, her illnesses are superficial and never require doctor visits but it is getting to the point where I'm starting to think something is wrong. It's also very upsetting to always have to see her suffering, I think lately it's wearing on her because she used to be such a happy baby and now her temperment is shot and everyday is filled with her constant whining and crabbing, I can't seem to bring back the happy carefree baby that once was. Is there any vitamins I can give her to boost her immune system? Any advice of any kind will be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks so much!
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Last year, my daughter always seemed to be sick. She had a constant running nose and one illness after another. We starting giving her spirulina tablets and putting Microhydrin(or Mega-H) in her juice. It's been amazing. She's hardly been sick since. She doesn't have that constant post nasal drip anymore. She actually chews the tablets, too. Her mouth turns green and she thinks that's funny. I just swallow mine. For my older daughter, I buy Spiruteen powder and add in a little extra spirulina powder and mega-h. We buy them from iherb online. I think the spirulina brand is "now' foods.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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ds's wheat allergy manifested with frequent colds and coughs.

a low grade allergy, which doesn't have any obvious immediate symptoms, can over stimulate the immune system so the kid keeps getting sick.

i'd consider an elimination diet, possible mattress/pillow encasings (made a difference for ds, a bigger difference for me), and definitely go check out the allergies forum.

good luck!

me dh ds1 (11/04) ds2 (7/10) and
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:39 AM
 
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has she seen a chiropractor?
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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I would also cross post this is the Vax forum. There are some super knowledgeable mamas over there with immunology info

(off the top of my head, it sounds like either an allergy or possible autoimmune issue) good luck mama

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:25 AM
 
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I had issues with dairy and eggs as a kid, and I always seemed to be sick. For me at the time, the egg allergy/sensitivity came through as a constant, clear runny nose. And the dairy made me stuffy and my throat was gunky.


But obviously you need to help her immune system, and the previous question/suggestion of a chiropractor is an EXCELLENT one. That's what chiro is supposed to be all about (though there is the side benefit of a healthier-feeling back), helping the body have less interference, so it can work as close to 100% as possible! Find a nice, gentle chiro who adores children, and help out her immune system.

Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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Maye her immune system is just gearing up? DS got sick a lot the first couple of years of his life - now he almost never gets sick. (DS is 4.) DD is 17 mos. and she gets sick a lot, too. I assume she'll outgrow it.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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DD is 17 mos to, she get sick often, Rhinitis,Common Colds,Sinus Infections,among other things that we suspected it was Asthma, we where right, DD was diagnosed with a Mild Asthma in May 2006:
But DH wasn't so surprise she got it from him..

But that's not all stomach infections,ear infections etc
It's sad to see her like that but that doesn't stop her at all

Good Luck Mamma
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:03 AM
 
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Definitely look into the allergy issue because what you're describing also describes how I was as a child, but no one ever thought to eliminate dairy until I was allergy-tested at 8. Lo and behold, whne the milk was out, I felt better. That said, my dd (also allergic to milk) gets no dairy, eats a fairly well-balanced diet, is energetic and growing well, and she gets almost a cold a month during cold and flu season. She is fully vaxed, too, so I don't think being vaxed or not is usually an issue with something like this. Some people are just more susceptible than others, and it may be an allergy, or it may just be how she is. I do give my dd half an Airborne tablet when she's sick, and I think it sometimes speeds things along, but it's hard to know.

It's not much fun, though, is it? I can't even tell you how much dread I feel when I can tell dd is starting to come down with something. Her sleep gets all messed up (as in she does NOT sleep), we're exhausted, she's cranky and clingy, we're teetering on the edge, you get the picture.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:04 AM
 
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Ack, sorry! Double post.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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This describes my dd too She has had FOUR colds in the past six weeks. : After the last cold I started using a cart cover, washing our hands way more religiously, giving her echinacea, and I resumed taking a multivitamin (I'd been slacking). Then she got another cold, so I'm really suspecting some underlying reason... she seems really healthy and on track in every other way. I know she is sensitive to dairy and we don't eat it (except for what is in chocolate in my case

I guess I may start eliminating it further.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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This isn't really preventative, but I have come to rely on Hyland's C-Plus Cold Tablets for colds and other sicknesses. I just follow the package directions. I was skeptical at first, but they totally nip her illnesses in the bud. Sometimes I have to repeat the full course for severla days to help her continue to "fight off" the bug, and if I know she's been in contact with other sickies I'll give her a few as a preventative boost. Normally, if she were to get a cold she would have a rough 3-7 days, then continuous runny snot for up to weeks. With the Hylands, her symptoms generally disappear completely in 1 day, maybe 2-3 total, and she's never fully sick if I start it ASAP when I notice something's wrong.

Good luck getting to the source of the problem - I just wanted to pass on a possible help for when she does get sick.
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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I'm all for trying diet-related things, supplements, etc., but I think some kids just get a lot of colds.

My older DD had a runny nose for virtually 6 months straight during her second winter. The winter after that, not so much. Her fourth winter (this past one) I think she got a couple of colds. This fall/winter she's gotten a sniffly nose a couple of times and one GI/digestive thing. She's definitely sick less often than in the past.

My younger DD has had a runny nose for about 6 weeks now.

My older DD is almost fully vaxed, and my younger has only the DTaP series. I don't think that plays any role in the frequency of their illnesses - I think mostly it's genetics and where we live (where it's truly cold in the winter, and the air dries out, and we don't eat all the fresh fruits and veggies that we do in the summer and fall).

I guess I just expect most young kids to be sick during the winter - it's cold season, after all, and there are hundreds of cold-causing viruses they haven't been exposed to yet.

Granted, they could have some sort of food sensitivity, but then why would that only show itself during the winter? They are healthy as anything in the spring, summer and early fall - they maybe get one cold then.

I may try the spirulina idea though....thanks for that!
Nancy

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all of you mamas for the wonderful responses. My dd saw a chiropractor from the age of 2 weeks until she was about 6 months and that did wonders for her sleep and irritability. Now I don't have the time or money for that but the last time she was seen the chiro said that it's not all that necessary since her alignment was straight on when her bones all solidified, so that was a relief. Anyway, I don't think it's an allergy because although she's sick alot it alwaus has a definate beginning and end. And her illnesses always seem to manifest themselves at least a little bit differently each time. Anyway, I went to an herbologist at the local Co-op for some advice and low and behold she suggested Spirurulina and elderberry (I think). So I picked some of that up for both of us (I experience bad fatigue in the winter months), the only thing is that she couldn't give me an exact dosage amount for baby. My dd is 17 months and 22 lbs, does anyone know how much I should let her eat? Again thanks again everyone!
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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Same problem with my triplets. Started sometime after their 1st birthday. Constantly sick. Got worse and worse as time went on - more severe illnesses. Also kept them (and me) up all night. Things were bad.

Prior to this I was a very conventional medicine person. But I was so desperate I was willing to try anything. My actions were a combo of other moms recommendations and I also met with a homeopath.

Here is what I did.

1. Took them off dairy (per other moms recommendations)
2. Gave them a daily Beta Glucan supplement to boost immunity (per Homeopath recommendation)
3. Gave them homeopath remedies and bach flowers (per homeopath)
4. Daily supplement of cod liver oil (again suppose to have immunity boosting properties - per homeopath)

Results: We have been illness free since we started this regimen. I am not exaggerating. Sure - we've had a little runny nose here/there - but absolutely nothing requiring a trip to the ped. They have been happy and have had no problems sleeping at night. I can't be sure what did the trick as I started everything at one -- but mothers intuition tells me #1 and #2 have had the most impact.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitters View Post
ds's wheat allergy manifested with frequent colds and coughs.

a low grade allergy, which doesn't have any obvious immediate symptoms, can over stimulate the immune system so the kid keeps getting sick.
That is exactly what my kids had with dairy. And the irony was - they LOVED dairy - it was a huge part of their diet - milk, cheese, yogurt - ate lots of it. There was no "allergic reaction" per se - but the dairy clearly suppressed their immune system and they got sick all the time - and with increasing severity - constantly on antibiotics, trips to the ER, home nebulizer treatments of albuterol, docs starting to suggest "asthma" -- ALL OF THIS STOPPED WHEN I ELIMINATED DAIRY FROM THEIR DIET (and some supplements - see my other post).

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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I'll just add a couple simple things.

People get sick in the winter months more because they are inside more and not as much fresh air is introduced. It's so important to get us and our kids outside EVERY day, even in the winter (of course, not in extremely cold weather). We live in CO, for example, and my two girls and I walk every morning to school. That's 30 minutes for dd1 and one hour (or more, considering the toddler factor) for dd2 and me in 20 degree weather.

As for handwashing, it is a good idea, but only to a point. If you're using anti-bacterial soap, I would replace it with plain old soap and wash often (after using the potty and sharing toys and sneezing), but not over-do or you'll wash away the helpful bacteria that strengthens immune systems.

I don't believe it's "normal" for people to be sick, no matter the time of year. If the symptoms are sinus-related, but with no sneezing or coughing, I would suspect a diary sensitivity/allergy. You can treat her symptoms, but it seems to me with such frequent illness, there is a root cause that you can eliminate. Good luck!

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimiharshe View Post
has she seen a chiropractor?
:

Regular adjustments can really help her immune system function at it's best...
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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I echo the use of chiro care. Also, I wanted to add that you should eliminate any sugar she's getting - even (especially) in fruit juice. Sugar really does a number of the immune system.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:37 AM
 
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Hi there. I always have the constantly-sick-child and it's so frustrating. We saw the immunology specialist at Children's Hospital and they weren't all that wonderful. The physician never suggested eliminating anything in the diet at all, instead, she just said that some kids get sick a lot and took a ton of blood work to be analyzed. : We'll see what it reveals.

I have never taken DS to a chiropractor. What exactly do they do with a toddler, since toddlers aren't exactly prone to laying down and being examined without protest?
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:06 AM
 
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I've read vitamins A and C are needed by the immune system to function well. For vitamin C, the dosing instructions I got (and use) are 50mg/kg body weight per day when healthy and 250mg/kg body weight per day when sick/getting sick. That last translates to 1.1g per day per 10 pounds of body weight, which seems like a huge amount, but I've seen it be well-tolerated both in myself and my daughter (a bit under 40 lbs, I think). It needs to be spread out as much as possible throughout the day, like take some every hour or two. The sodium ascorbate version of vitamin C is easy on the body and very mixable in plain water or other drinks--it just tastes salty.

Although I aspire to a healthy lifestyle that doesn't depend so much on supplements, for now we take the vit C "maintenance dose" every day, 2x/day for my daughter and split into 3 or 4 doses for my husband and me. I think that has helped, but that's harder to say.

Since I started using the vitamin C for us regularly, our colds (my kids, almost 3yo and 7mo, are in daycare in the morning) have gotten dramatically shorter and milder. It seems easier to get enough into the baby since he's nursing (I just take tons and give him a little directly a couple times a day) so when he gets a cold, I wipe his nose about twice a day, and other than that, you couldn't tell he's sick. None of that poor sleep and trouble nursing due to congestion--I've been so grateful (and wished I knew about it when my daughter was a baby). It's been a bit harder to get that high a level into my daughter, but I still notice a real difference in her colds.

I don't know much about vitamin A but if I was having lots of sickness, I'd start at the NIH site below and consider supplementing at the tolerable upper intake level for a while with cod liver oil.

http://www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamina.asp

I've taken my kids to a doc who is a chiropractor and does applied kinesiology (I don't know how to separate what he does into the two buckets). Honestly, it's really, really weird, but based on results I've seen, I've converted from interested skeptic to totally fascinated in what he does and how it works (I don't get it yet). One who's used to working with kids will be able to deal with them just fine I'd think--mine didn't make my daughter lie down at all, I don't think, and he was quick (and entertaining).
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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You'd be amazed at how docile a toddler can be when in a nice chiro's office.

To the OP...I'm scratching my head at the chiro's comment that since the bones were aligned when they "solidified" it was OK? I'm thinking that it's possible the chiro missed a couple classes that I attended...:

If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. But I know that when I was in practice, I felt that getting children under care was SO important (have you seen what they do to their bodies on a daily basis?) that I only charged one dollar per year of their life up to 18 years old. Now, usually that was when a parent was under care, but I'm sure I could have made an exception...since I did that, there might be others that do it...
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