Rotavirus Vaccine – What’s a Parent To Do?
“Pediatricians Want Kids to Get Rotavirus Vaccine” were headlines in The Vancouver Sun this week and it was an interesting read, particularly in the wake of the huge recall of Glaxo-Smith-Kline’s rotavirus vaccine Rotarix last year in the US, when it was discovered to have been contaminated with a pig virus – discovered only after the vaccine had been injected into over one million children in the US alone. While officials quickly reassured the public that this virus is benign in humans, such reassurances are not backed by any concrete evidence – there are no scientific studies showing what happens when this virus is injected and resides in a human body over the course of a lifetime.
Rotavirus, which as the article states is barely a household word, causes diarrhea and vomiting and is highly contagious. The danger comes from dehydration, which in small children can occur fast and if not rectified, be life-threatening. Third-world children living in poverty with poor sanitation are most at risk, however even in North America apparently death by Rotavirus dehydration causes between 20 – 60 deaths annually. So the idea is that by vaccinating children against this common but usually undiagnosed illness, those deaths due to Rotaviral dehydration won’t occur. But since viruses easily mutate, the chances of a child catching a mutated rotavirus or some other virus causing diarrhea and vomiting is pretty much guaranteed - meaning parents still need to know how to prevent their child from becoming dehydrated and support their healthy recovery.
For those parents who feel nervous injecting yet another pharmaceutical cocktail into their young child’s body, another option is to promote the health and development of their fledgling immune system through old-fashioned ideas such as good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle as well as educate themselves in natural therapies to use when their children do become ill. My three children have all come down with bouts of diarrhea/vomiting at various times but by treating them with a combination of homeopathic remedies and common sense (some of which came from my doctor on the rare occasions I needed to consult with her/him), again and again I was amazed by the miracle of homeopathy as their bodies responded quickly and positively.
Homeopathic remedies are a fantastic resource for a parent, especially in the middle of the night when your child wakes up vomiting or feverish. With a small selection of remedies commonly needed in acute illnesses, a book to help you in differentiating the remedies, and a basic understanding of how to match remedies to the sick person, it’s not unusual to ease the illness immediately and have everyone sleep through to morning. The wonderful thing about homeopathic remedies is that unlike drugs such as Tylenol which actually suppress the immune system’s functioning, they work to immediately stimulate the sick person's healing processes. The experience of illness can then serve to actually make a child healthier overall - and therefore less susceptible to getting sick again, eliminating the cycle of antibiotics so many children end up on, particularly during the winter months.
If you are interested in learning to use homeopathy to treat common illnesses, consider taking a short seminar on the subject or pick up one of the many books available on using homeopathic remedies at home. Meeting other parents who have successfully been using homeopathy to treat their children's illnesses without frequent trips to the walk-in clinic is another bonus of attending a seminar. As one of the most widely practiced medical systems in the world, homeopathy is once again gaining ground at a grass-roots level here in North America – despite the noisy opinions of those who are skeptical. While our wonderful modern medicine can be necessary in severe illnesses, there are many other situations where an informed parent and homeopathy can provide all the support their child needs to overcome whatever virus is challenging their system.