Detox Your Medicine Cabinet

Dr. Alan Greene, pediatrician, author of 4 books including the recently published "Raising Baby Green" and professor at Stanford University School of Medicine has some advice on how to clean up and "green" up medicine cabinet:

For a cold: Throw out those pediatric decongestants and antihistamines. They are ineffective and can even be dangerous. Try natural home remedies like:

  • Saline nose drops like Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist. This will loosen mucus and can have a gentle decongestant and antiviral effect.
  • A vaporizer or humidifier. It helps thin mucus, allowing for easier discharge.
  • For anyone over age 3, try organic cough drops like Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops or, for over age one, a spoonful of honey.

Ear Infections: Ear infections are the #1 reason for antibiotic prescriptions in kids, but often misdiagnosed. To help combat resistance:

  • See if there is fluid in the middle ear first with EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor. Fluid build-up is a key sign of an ear infection.
  • All natural ear drops or warm baby or olive oil can help combat discomfort. Similasan Earache Relief drops can be purchased over the counter.

Teething pain: Instead of Benzocaine, which can be just as irritating to babies as the pain itself, try:

  • Organic teethers moistened and cooled in the freezer.
  • Simply massaging the gums will also often soothe sore gums.

Diaper Rash: Get rid of ointments and lotions with harsh or unproven chemicals and try:

  • Fresh air! As often as practical, allow your little one to go diaper-free & change diapers frequently
  • Try soothing zinc diaper balm or an A, D, and E ointment made without harsh chemicals
  • Look for products made by companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • Instead of antibacterial soaps, try Clean Well, a sanitizer that kills 99.90% of germs naturally.

Recommended products:

  • Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist- Walgreen's $5.99
  • Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler- CVS $29.99
  • Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops – Walgreen's $3.49
  • EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor- Wal-Mart $58.97
  • Similasan Earache Relief Drops- Walgreen's $9.99
  • Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer (1 oz travel size) – Whole Foods $2.99

More tips from Dr. Greene:

Understand the Label: Toluene in nail treatments can cause harm to pregnant women. Is there mercury mascara? What's with the lead acetate in hair color?

Don't be Fooled: "Hypoallergenic" is a word that does not have to be verified and "Organic" can be used if only 1 percent of the content is of organic origin.

More Information:

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