Children: Outdoor Concerns

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

If you are living in a part of the world that is consistently challenged by its weather, you understand the burning desire to get out of the house and into the luscious environment brought forth by the coming of temperate days.

Children are already enthusiastically awaiting temperatures that are conducive to outdoor play. Everything around them will soon be catching their attention as the world becomes, yet again, a vast playground to discover and explore. Their curiosity can, however, lead them into a good deal of trouble for with the sunshine and warm drafts come a variety of animals, insects and reptiles that will do anything to defend themselves against the curious and playful behaviours of children.

Insect Bites & Stings 

Insect bites are not only painful to small children; they can also be dangerous. So, here are some ‘guidelines’ designed to help parents deal with the wounds inflicted by bites and stings.

There are five important homeopathic remedies for bites and stings that should be part of your emergency first-aid kit. They are Apis mellifica; Carbolic acid; Ledum palustre; Hypericum perforatum; and, Urtica urens.

Apis and Carbolicum acidum are important remedies to remember in cases where a child goes into an anaphylactic state as a result of a bite, or sting. The child is having a severe allergic reaction. The face and tongue may be swollen; the child may have difficulty breathing and may be cold to the touch. Take your child to the hospital emergency immediately and on the way give the best indicated of the following remedies:

  • Apis 30C for bites from bee stings and yellow jackets, etc., where there is a puffy, water-like [oedematous] swelling and the child is worse from touch and heat. Administer the pellets on the tongue, every 10-15 minutes.
  • Carbolicum acidum 30C is specific for anaphylaxis to bee stings. So, if you have identified the insect, give the pellets every 10-15 minutes.

Note: The more serious the condition of the affected child, the more frequent the repetition of the dose. Upon improvement, the intervals between doses may be increased.

Ledum and Hypericum are important remedies to consider in cases of puncture-like bites, stings and poisonous spider bites.

Administer the best indicated of the following:

  • Ledum 30C when the wounds feel cold and the area appears bluish. All symptoms are worse from heat and scratching. Like Apis, Ledum is just as effective for wasps and yellow jackets.
  • Hypericum 30C is useful when the wound is on, or near, any part of the spine, finger/toe tip, and there is excessive pain and severe itching.
  • Tarentula cubensis 30C is indicated if the affected part is burning and bluish in colour.
  • Cantharis vesicatoria 30C would be effective when the affected part is angry-looking, red and burning.

As a fifth option, consider Urtica urens in bites and stings that have itchy blotches and swelling. There may be extreme itching with a clear, sticky discharge.

Administer these remedies, initially, every fifteen minutes and then give them at longer intervals [2-3 hours] as the condition improves.

Animal Bites: A Rabid Dog

Belladonna 30C. Give every day for a week; followed by one dose weekly for the next six weeks.

Lyssinum 30C, the hydrophobia ‘nosode,’ can be given as a preventative, similarly: one dose weekly for six weeks.

As the condition is fatal, inoculations for rabies should be definitely considered. The homeopathic remedies should be given concurrently to this form of treatment.

Venomous Insects & Snake Bites

In the case of venomous insects and snake bites, the first-aid measures must be put into effect immediately. Venom is rapidly absorbed and efforts to prevent absorption are futile after ten minutes.

  • Carbolicum acidum 30C is indicated if the patient appears to be comatose with a dusky face and pallor around the mouth.
  • Crotalus horridus 6C would be necessary if the development of symptoms is rapid and serious. There will be much swelling and a multi-coloured discoloration of the skin as well as effusion of dark blood from various places. 
  • Echinacea angustifolia 6C can be used if the affected part becomes septic, or gangrenous, with a foul-smelling discharge.
  • Lachesis muta 30C is indicated if the part affected is blue and there is effusion of dark fluid blood. 
  • Oxalicum acidium 30C is needed when the parts are cold and numb with violent pains and tremors. The patient will be ashen.

The specific antidotes to a snake bite should be used when available. The puncture wound should be vigorously sucked and the venom spat out.

Note: Do not suck out the venom if there is any crack, or abrasion, on the lips, or mouth.

A ligature should be applied above the bite, but not so tight as to cut off the pulse below. A tourniquet must not be left on for too long, or applied over bare skin. It must be released, every half-hour, for a few seconds, if a lengthy application is necessary.

If the bite is in a limb, a limb hold is best kept rested and cool.

Fish Stings

Apis 30C, or Medusa 30C, should resolve Jelly Fish stings.

The poison of a fish sting can be dissolved by potassium permanganate. A solution should be injected into the wound, or crystals. It can be rubbed into a wound that has been incised.

The most effective way to administer homeopathic remedies to children [if you cannot find poppy seed-sized pillules] is to crush 4-5 pills between two sheets of clean, white paper and gather the residue on a clean, plastic spoon. Alternatively, you can dissolve the pellets in distilled water and administer them with a clean, plastic teaspoon, or dropper.

If your child does not respond, after a few doses, or the condition worsens, consult your professional homeopath.

Rush your child to the Emergency Department of the closest hospital for all serious conditions listed above.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype.

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