Body Systems and Related Common Childhood Illnesses
Signals That Warrant a Call to Your Health Care Provider
- A fever over 102°F
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Stomach cramps
- Blood in urine or stool
- Black stool
- Convulsions or seizures
- Persistent crying
- Lethargy, drowsiness, or unresponsiveness
- Cough with rasping sound
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Discharge from eyes or ears
- Green mucus from nose
- Swelling around the mouth, lip, face, or eyes
- Rash accompanied by fever
- Purple or red spots on the skin
- Dehydration; refusal to drink or eat for more than eight hours
- Lack of improvement when ill
- Unexplained or unexpected weight loss
- A feeling or intuition that you should call
Even with the best health care provider on your side, as the parent, you will probably be the person to nurse your child though any illnesses that she may encounter. From the perspective of East Asian medicine, sickness is the result of imbalance, and healing means supporting your child’s body to bring her condition toward the center of the yin-yang spectrum. Mild, noninvasive techniques of natural healing help you support your child and make her comfortable as her body’s systems work to restore balance. In addition, your careful observation and attention to her overall condition provide valuable information for your health care provider in case your child’s illness requires professional attention.
Your baby’s body systems work together to keep her functioning and to help her body convert, use, and store elements that produce blood and other cells, as well as bone and muscle tissue, and then discharge any excesses. Every single second, these systems automatically support her breathing, digestion, and elimination of waste.
As she grew inside the womb, some of these systems were unnecessary. Because your baby received her nourishment through her umbilical cord, she did not need to digest any food. She did not breathe air through her lungs, and the womb protected her from outside pathogens. For the first year of her life, your baby’s immune, digestive, and respiratory systems are still developing. Thus, the majority of common illnesses in infancy and early childhood stem from the immaturity of these systems.
Your baby’s bodily systems are continually moving toward a harmonious condition by coordinating efforts to maintain a stable internal temperature and environment. Her body regularly adjusts imbalances through temperature changes, thirst urges, hunger urges, metabolism, acid and alkaline balance, and regulation of yin and yang. These bodily systems are the foundation for her physical health, which is interrelated with her emotional and mental health.
Most disease occurs when a disturbance to this balance causes stress in your baby’s body. An understanding of her body’s systems can help you support her as she works to regain balance.
Download the e-book below for the illness description, symptoms and causes, suggestions for care—food or remedies, topical treatments or compresses, essential oils, acupoints, Reiki, and massage, prevention, and concerns:
- Lymphatic and Immune Systems—Fever; Allergies
- Digestive and Urinary Systems—Diarrhea; Constipation; Colic; Stomach upset and vomiting; Hiccups; Teething
- Respiratory System—Croup, cough; Sore throat, strep throat; Cold; Earache and ear infection; Asthma
- Integumentary System—Eczema, cradle cap; Diaper rash; Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
- Nervous System—Insomnia; Hyperactivity
- Endocrine System—Jaundice
- Muscular and Skeletal Systems
- Circulatory System
- Reproductive System