Friday, June 19, 2009

Your Children: Their Burns, Bruises & “Owees”

By Junie Norfleet, L.Ac.

The weather warmer, and the children being outside more, brings sunburns, insect bites, scrapes, and bruises.

For the prevention of sunburn, we suggest that you follow the suggestions of Dr. Michael Holick, a vitamin D researcher, who suggests that you determine how long it takes for your skin to turn pink and then spend only ¼ of that time outdoors without protection.

If you stay out longer, apply sunscreen and/or add additional clothing to protect the body. Repeat this several times a week, exposing at least 50% of your body each time. This allows your body to get adequate Vitamin D without being "burned" by the sun.

We suggest you check the website: to investigate safe sunscreen lotions. The first two listed that best meet the study's criteria for safe, low hazard products are:
  • California Baby SPF 30+Sun block Stick No Fragrance
  • Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen
If there is sunburn, the symptoms are:
  • First degree burn - pink skin, some pain, minimal peeling;
  • Second degree burn - significant redness of the skin; in some instances blisters with clear, watery fluid; extreme pain lasting several days; significant peeling;
  • More severe burns - chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, mild dehydration.
In some instances heat stroke can occur with rapid onset symptoms of fever greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, hot skin, confusion and loss of consciousness. Heat exhaustion symptoms are slower in onset and include cold and clammy skin, extreme sweating but no fever. Heat stroke and/or exhaustion occur due to dehydration, so be sure to stay hydrated.

If there are parts of the body that get missed and therefore "burned," the Chinese Acupuncture Clinic carries a burn cream that is excellent to help soothe the burned skin, whether the burn is from the sun or from a stove or campfire. It helps to cool the heat sensation as well as heal the area.

For insect bites, a blend of essential oils including Basil and Cedarwood is available to help reduce the irritation, itching, and pain. If you decide to create a blend for yourself, please be cautious with Basil for prepubescent children and pregnant women, as Basil can exhaust yang qi. To protect yourself and your children from insect bites, diffuse White Camphor oil in the area as an insect repellant, or use a hydrosol of Citronella, Cedarwood, Peppermint, and Geranium.

For scrapes, we suggest that you wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Soaps with essential oils are good to use since all essential oils are antimicrobial. If the scrape is in an area that is going to be hard to heal due to bending of a joint or body part, we suggest using Zi Cao ointment to keep the area soft and pliable while it heals.

For more serious injuries with unbroken skin, we suggest Dit Da tincture. For sprains and strains, we suggest massaging Dit Da on the injured area several times daily. This tincture is wonderful to move stagnant blood and qi and to help the area to heal. The alcohol base causes it to be best for injuries without broken skin.

We at the Chinese Acupuncture Clinic want you and your children to have safe and happy outdoor time. We encourage you to supply your "first aid kits" with some of the above mentioned items to help ensure good health.