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HOMEOPATHY & CHILD HEALTH: FLU, SORE THROAT & TONSILLITIS

Influenza [flu] has an erratic pattern or severity of symptoms, even though it may often be thought as an uncomplicated, self-limiting illness. Its consequence, or complication, when not adequately treated, may be pneumonia and ear infection.

There are two major forms of influenza: types A and B. They cause the epidemic illness. Another form, type C, produces sporadic cases of respiratory infections.

Infection with influenza virus provides limited immunity. This may last for some years, until a new form of the virus produces something different to ‘beat’ this safety mechanism. What’s more, every virus is new for infants — this is reason why the prevalence rate is highest in them and in younger children [30-50 per cent].

While influenza vaccine is suggested to protect against both types A and B, studies show that complication rates may be the same with all children, irrespective of their environment.  Influenza A and B cause almost identical symptoms, although the duration of symptoms in type A infection is usually more than a few days, whereas symptoms in type B infection may last for 2-3 days.

In older children and adolescents, influenza presents with a sudden onset of respiratory symptoms [e.g., cough], eye infection [conjunctivitis] and sore throat. Common features are high fever and muscular aches, or pains, and headaches with weariness. While such symptoms usually last for 2-4 days, the cough and tiredness may persist for several days longer. There may be occasional wheezing in some children.

Ear infection, along with pneumonia, is one of the most common complications of influenza [25-30 per cent].

There is a useful homeopathic remedy for influenza — it is best given just before the onset of sore throat. The symptoms are characteristic — the child feels tired and has aches all over the body. There is also a constant chilliness which feels better with warm clothing. There is another remedy that is useful in influenza, when it is accompanied by tummy upsets. The keynote is the child may have fetid diarrhoeic stools.

There is a first-rate homeopathic remedy when there is soreness and aching of the entire body, along with a gruff voice and cough. Drinking water may cause vomiting. Yet another remedy, likewise, works well when the child, presenting with severe cough, holds the chest with their hands. This is famously called ‘break-bone’ pains — it is a characteristic indication of this remedy.

SORE THROAT

A common problem in children, sore throat may not be as simple as it looks on the surface. Viruses cause a majority of throat infections. Symptoms include soreness in the roof of the mouth and the throat, a runny nose and congestion, irritation, or redness of the eyes, cough, hoarseness, skin rash, or diarrhoea.

There may sometimes be difficulty in swallowing food or liquids. Children with viral infections and sore throat may present with a rising fever; they may also feel depressed.

A mild irritation or a more serious infection, such as laryngitis, may also produce a sore throat. The soreness may affect the whole throat or specific areas such as the larynx, tonsils, adenoids, pharynx, or vocal chords.

Symptoms include a dry mouth and throat discomfort on swallowing, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, bad breath, low energy and fever. They may sometimes get worse by cold and damp, overuse of voice, passive smoking, food allergy, being run down, or emotional stress. If symptoms and loss of voice persist for more than 3-4 days, parents should promptly seek the advice of their child’s homeopathic doctor.

TONSILLITIS

Homeopathy is particularly useful in tonsillitis — a common disorder. The tonsils are a pair of sacs, made of lymphatic tissue, located at the back of the throat. They form one of the first lines of defence in the body’s immune system. They are prone to infection, especially during childhood. Symptoms are sore, or painful, throat, with fever and general lethargy. The tonsils may appear bright red at first; they may later be covered with a slimy, whitish coating. The glands in the neck may subsequently get enlarged.

Homeopathy has a good clinical record in treating tonsillitis. It does not believe in ‘chopping’ the tonsils by way of surgery, but enhancing the body's own defences to maintain good health. It also aims at improving the child’s immunity and allowing the tonsils to work at their optimal best.

Speak to your homeopathic doctor today — for professional treatment and best, long-term curative results for your child.

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