Saturday, October 31, 2009
The Medicated Child
Frontlinepbs.org has put several of their programs online. One that I viewed tonight is called The Medicated Child and can be viewed HERE. The focus is the safety of psychiatric medications for children and, how lack of research is putting our children at risk, how medication is so quick to be prescribed vs. other therapies, including counselling, and more.
The first thing that struck me as insane is that there was no look at the basic necessities for good health: diet, sleep and exercise. Of all the cases portrayed, only one mom was NOT obese. One little boy's meal was a microwaved frozen corndog, Gatorade, goldfish and a cookie. Where is any nutrition at all in that?
As a daycare provider, I have seen that far too many parents, and I'd even say the majority, believe that their child doesn't nap well, doesn't need a nap, can't get their child to nap, etc... In 12 years of doing childcare, there has only been two children who weren't good nappers, only TWO! The most common problem, the parents waited too long to put the child down for a nap and the child had released andrenaline and couldn't relax and fall asleep. Also a very commong problem with infants: the parents did the above and when the child finally fell asleep, they hadn't eaten for a few hours and woke up after less than an hour very hungry and still tired. The parent fed the child, but didn't put them back down for a full, proper nap. Many children still have disrupted sleep at night, too. It is well-documented that lack of sleep is extremely harmful, especially so in children.
The third issue, exercise, is also crucial to kids. In this day and age of children in daycares, preschools, parents working, etc., kids don't get to run and play and explore the outdoors like we did. We have higher levels of pollution, too, so the air isn't so fresh any more. Kids need vigorous exercise, the kind that makes them sweat and condition their hearts.
I'll tell you something very basic, yet very unknown. The fluid that surrounds our brain and spinal cord, CSF, for short, isn't pumped around like our blood is. The CSF only moves when we move. If we don't move, the same old fluid is bathing our brain and spinal cord. We NEED TO MOVE to get the clean fluid our body makes to the right places. The same goes for the lymph fluid in our bodies. This is why I love my trampoline and rebounder, it moves these two fluids like crazy.
I have believed for a long time that Americans need to go back to the ever-so-valuable and crucial basics of healthy living. Only when a pattern of health is in place can we truly see the disease. What good is taking a pill when the behavior that caused or contributed to the illness is still present? Or what good is it if our body isn't otherwise healthy? What about prevention? A dentist once told me that they are the most successful doctors of all because they have put into place the most successful campaign of preventative health in all of medicine.
Another tidbit: Last I heard, medical schools in America do not require one single course in nutrition for their medical students. Not one! Yet your pediatrician or doctor is giving you advice on nutrition? An excellent example of how wrong this can lead you is to look at the doctor's advice of the early 1900s until the late 1900s that taught that formula was better for babies than breastmilk.
The next Frontline episodes I plan to watch are Sick Around America and Sick Around the World.
I challenge you to look in your pantries and fridges and see what you eat. Does it come from the earth and still look like it does? Does it come from the earth but is dried, frozen or canned? Does it come in a box or worse, a bag, and not resemble anything organic at all? Are your meals balanced? How much do you drink eat day that isn't water? How much water do you drink? Are you getting enough sleep? I know I'm not and I feel it - bad, just look at the times of my recent blog posts. Do you go outside each day for a walk, even for just 5 minutes? That little bit from the house to the car doesn't count!
We owe it to ourselves and our children and families to be healthy, especially single parents. I promise you that you will feel so much better!