Herbs are my first go-to for any illness or complaint, but there are times when it is completely appropriate to seek medical help.
I want to dispel the myth that herbal medicine and Western medicine are incompatible. There is no one system of medicine that fits every body and every situation.
It is completely appropriate to integrate the two methods. In an ideal world, you will have a care provider who shares your holistic perspective and that has met your child in a state of wellness, not just sickness. Then, you'll know what to expect when you must seek medical help.
Always make it your goal to work in partnership with your physician. When your child is sick and taking antibiotics, it’s not necessary to give antibiotic herbs—that would be redundant. However, you could give him teas that soothe a sore throat, improve digestion, and help him rest.
When to Seek Medical Help
If your child...
- is not responding to the herbal treatments you have been using.
- shows signs of serious illness, such as fever above 103 degrees F, low-grade persistent fever, delirium, unconsciousness, hemorrhaging, or severe abdominal pain.
- is lethargic, weak, unresponsive, or difficult to awaken.
- complains of a stiff neck and is unable to touch her chin to her chest—severe headaches may be signs of meningitis.
- has a bulging fontanel (on an infant).
- is less than 6 weeks old and has a fever of 100.4 F or higher.
- has recurring ear infections.
- is dehydrated and has an absence of urine.
- has signs of choking, has difficulty breathing, or turns blue.
- has red streaks on the skin emanating from a point of infection.
- has one or more bee stings or insect bites that cause an allergic reaction.
- has burns that are larger than twice the size of your child’s hand, burns that have become infected, or third-degree burns.
If in doubt, get it checked out.
I am speaking here to the steadfast natural health community that has a resistance to the medical community: There is absolutely no harm in checking in with a trusted healthcare provider if you are concerned about your child’s health.
You aren't being silly or too cautious by going in when you have a concern. So what if you go in and the doc says, “It’s a virus; let it run it’s course, go home, don’t worry”? That peace of mind is priceless!
And remember: you, the parents, are the expert on your child’s health. Yes, physicians and healthcare providers know tons about medicine, illnesses, and treatments. However, they do not know the subtleties of your child's range of normal.
Find a pediatrician or family doctor who you can trust, and build a partnership with them. Together, you'll keep your little one in tip-top condition!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. How do you determine when to call the doctor and what was your experience like?
If you want to know more about when to seek medical help, what herbs are safe for children, what illnesses are good to start with herbs when working with children...
Then you will love my Herbs for Kids Free Online Course!