Is it safe to use alternative medicine with kids?

Is it safe to use alternative medicine with kids?
Is it safe to use alternative medicine with kids? | Kids in the House
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Is it safe to use alternative medicine with kids?

I learned about alternative medicine from the parents in my practice. When I first began in practice, I would see a child who had a 101 degree fever and ear pain and I looked and saw a red ear drum and I would tell the parents here is some amoxycillin. Give a teaspoon three times a day for the next 10 days and I would like to do a recheck and call me if things are not better. And they would come back in a week or 10 days later and the ear infection was gone. And I would say to them way to go boy. It is tough to give that sticky medicine three times a day. Good work. And they would say we did not give the medicine and I would say what did you do. And they might list some herbs that they used or they might tell me that they just controlled pain and used hot compresses. And the child´s immune system got him better. And I would hear that three or four times and I would think the parents were off. And by the tenth time or twentieth or hundredth time that I heard that, I either had to listen to the parents or admit that I was pretty foolish. And I take some pride in not being foolish. I gave vaccines on the usual schedule and occasionally parents would call me and they would say I cannot put my finger on it. But ever since the vaccine, he is acting a little different. Could that have to do with the vaccines? And I was trained to say no, this is a coincidence. The way we vaccinate is 100% safe. It is not 100% safe. I learned to listen to them and I thought maybe I should vaccinate a little slower. Maybe I should look harder at the way we vaccinate. I learned to practice the way I do and to use some alternatives by listening to the parents tell me about their kids.


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Jay Gordon, MD


Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, IBCLC - In the middle of his residency training, pediatrician Jay Gordon took an unusual step. Deciding that he needed greater knowledge about nutrition, vitamins, and alternative medicine in order to practice medicine the way he wanted to, Dr. Gordon took a Senior Fellowship in Pediatric Nutrition at Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City. After his residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Dr. Gordon joined the teaching attending faculty at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Intensely interested in infant nutrition and breastfeeding, Dr. Gordon is the first male physician to sit for and pass the International Board of Lactation Certification Exam and has served on the Professional Advisory Board of La Leche League for 24 years.

In addition to treating patients, he participates in the training of medical students and residents, lectures all over the world, writes books, and writes a monthly column for “Fit Pregnancy” magazine. He has contributed to “New York Parent,” “Parenting” magazine and has been quoted in the L.A. Times, New York Times, and The London Times.

Dr. Gordon’s first book, the well-received Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow, offers a life-changing plan for families who want to make dramatic changes in health and fitness through nutrition. Brighter Baby examines the positive effect that attachment parenting, combined with infant massage, has on children’s health and intelligence. Other releases include: Good Night! The Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed and Hug Your Baby, a Gentle Guide through the First Year, which was released summer, 2002. He also authored Listening To Your Baby: A New Approach to Parenting Your Newborn, which still gets great reviews from parents. His most recent book is The ADD and ADHD Cure, the Natural Way to Treat Hyperactivity and Refocus Your Child.

When the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Television and the Media named Dr. Gordon “the most influential doctor in America,” they were referring, tongue-in-cheek, to Dr. Gordon’s role, as the medical script consultant, in eliminating lollipops from the office of “Doctor Weston,” lead character on the sitcom “Empty Nest.”

After two years of consulting on television scripts, sets, and ideas, Dr. Gordon was named CBS TV’s Medical Consultant for Children’s programming. He also worked for five years on ABC Television as the on-air medical correspondent for the “Home Show,” and continues to consult regularly for television and movies. He’s appeared on Fox 11 News, ABC’s 20/20 and most recently on Larry King Live. 

Dr. Gordon contributed and wrote the forward to Smart Medicine for a Healthy Child and The Encyclopedia of Vitamins and Supplements (both published in 1999), is pediatric consultant for “Fit Pregnancy” magazine and a frequent contributor to “Parents,” “Parenting,” and other media outlets.
 Busy as he is, Dr. Gordon finds that his most challenging job is “being a good husband and the best possible parent to my 22 year-old daughter.”

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