Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink is a licensed Naturopathic Physician and Registered Midwife in general family practice in Vancouver, British Columbia. She specializes in women and children’s health. She is also an instructor of Obstetrics and Pediatrics at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Additionally, she provides continuing education for health care providers in natural treatments in the areas of obstetrics and pediatrics.
Children’s Health for the School Year
As the summer months begin to wane, parent’s focus turns to preparing for the upcoming school year and children’s health. From a health point of view, the challenges can be frequent sniffles (colds and flus) and learning difficulties. Additionally, one many don’t think of is protecting growing bones during low sunlight (and vitamin D) months. In light of these challenges, I focus on four areas:
- Optimum growth of bone and teeth: growing bone lays the foundation for bone health later in life. This is our opportunity to bone in the bank and this is why some researchers consider osteoporosis, a pediatric disease that shows up later in life. Bone in the bank means that when you start withdrawing later in life, you have a savings account. I use the bone building mulitivitamin/mineral Kinderlove (US/CA) as it has calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C.
- Immune Maturity & Boosting: I use naturally occurring vitamin C and bioflavonoids found in berries such as rosehips and blueberries. Kinderlove provides vitamin A, C, D, E in a whole food base of carrots and rosehips to provide optimum immunity throughout the year.
- Neurological and brain development: Essential fatty acids have proven to improve motor and language development in children. I use Udo’s Oil with DHA (US/CA), steamed veggies or in smoothies. Iron deficiency has also been linked with delayed infant development, ADHD, learning difficulties, and delayed growth so if a child is anemic, I supplement with 10 mL of Floradix Iron & Herbs (US/CA).
- Gut colonization and healthy digestive function: It takes two years for a child to have full enzyme function and a healthy digestive lining. Probiotics (US/CA) help colonize the gut to healthy bacteria, which has shown to boost immunity, reduce infections, and prevent eczema and asthma.