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Committing to Raise Healthy Children

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Author: Dr. Verna Hunt, BSc DC ND Toronto ON
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Committing to Raise Healthy Children

It takes a village to raise a child.” The world is a busy and complicated place these days and especially in the world of child rearing. To begin at the beginning, infertility is on a meteoric rise. The issues of fertility abound and start with the prospective parents. As children what were they exposed to in terms of environmental pollutants, refined foods, drugs, abuse on all levels, lack of nurturing, their level of emotional, physical and psychological well being - they will pass this onto their children. That is not news you may say, but the increasing concentrations of environmental pollution are not just on the outside of us, but within our bodies as well. The first thing prospective parents can proactively do is to detoxify themselves  1-2 years before conceiving and that includes both the egg and sperm suppliers. If that is not possible, begin with creating the healthiest possible pregnancy and delivery that you can. There are many healthcare professionals that can help: doulas (birthing coaches), midwives, obstetricians, massage therapists, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, nurses, lactation specialists, etc.

Once the baby has arrived there are many things to consider:

·     Breast feeding – what is the mother eating and how healthy is her breast milk, can the baby latch and suck correctly

·     If you cannot breast feed – what is the best formula and bottles

·     Vaccinations – what are the long term consequences of doing or not doing vaccinations.

·     Sick child – what do you do when a child has a fever.

While standard medical care can often help with urgent symptoms with the use of drugs, naturopathic medicine focuses on addressing the underlying causes of health issues. When we say “It takes a village to raise a child”, I recommend that not only children with health issues receive naturopathic medical care but that all children receive health baby/child/teen checkups to determine if there is anything you as a parent or myself as their healthcare provider can do to optimize their well being.

In addition to consultation and thorough physical examination, laboratory tests are done for environmental toxins to assess if accumulation is too high. Examples include toxic metals such as mercury and lead, and chemicals such as parabens and toluenes from petrochemicals, plastics, pesticides etc.

These toxins concentrate in vital tissue and other areas such as the nervous system affecting learning functions and the immune system affecting responsiveness to colds and flus etc. Over the past three decades I have seen more and more ADD, autism, asthma and psychological illnesses in children and teens and much of this is preventable or once manifested, resolvable. Many of the parents we see in our office eagerly receive the advice and recommendations we can offer. If your child has to take a drug, consult with your naturopathic doctor about what other supplementation might be needed to make sure as little harm as possible is done by something like a vaccine or antibiotic. In addition, find out what supplements or remedies are needed for your baby/child/teen as they grow and mature.

Our main objectives when working with children in particular include optimal growth on all levels, enhanced immunity, ample energy and restorative sleep, ability to focus and concentrate, development of self-worth through meaningful communication, creative expression through art, sport and music and a taste for healthy food and drink. Healthy growth and development must take place on all levels: mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. A naturopathic doctor assesses these aspects of each individual and can be an integral part of your family’s healthcare, helping you with your commitment to raise healthy children.

For more information on Dr. Verna Hunt, BSc DC ND please visit


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