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Natural Health

I feel insecure about how much of an herbal remedy to give to my child and how often to give it. Are there any easy guidelines to follow?

Andrea Candee responds: Since children at any given age can vary greatly in size and weight, I prefer to use weight rather than age as the deciding factor in how much of an herbal remedy to give.

To best determine the dose for your child, use an adult weight of 150 pounds as the baseline constant. Using the figure of 150 pounds as the common denominator, put your child’s actual weight over it, producing a figure that gives you a fraction of the standard adult dose.

For example, if your child weighs 50 pounds, your formula will look like this:

50 pounds (your child’s weight)
150 pounds (adult baseline)

Because 50/150 is equivalent to 1/3, you’ll want to give your child 1/3 of the adult dose.

The following general guidelines apply:

10 pounds = 1/5 dose*
20 pounds = 1/8 dose
30 pounds = 1/5 dose
40 pounds = 1/4 dose
50 pounds = 1/3 dose
60 pounds = 2/5 dose
70 pounds= 1/2 dose
80 pounds = 1/2 dose
90 pounds = 3/5 dose
100 pounds = 2/3 dose

* The smallest dose of a liquid extract is 3 drops diluted in 1/4 cup breast milk, formula or water; or 2 teaspoons of tea.

Reduce quantity, not frequency
When you calculate your child’s dose according to weight, always reduce the quantity of the dose rather than its frequency. For example, an adult dose of 1 cup of medicinal tea to be administered three to four times a day translates to 1/3 cup given three to four times daily for a 50-pound child.

To make the math easier, it is often helpful to first convert cups to ounces. For instance, an 8-ounce adult dose becomes 1 ounce for an infant of about 20 pounds.

How to dose eardrops
The standard adult dose for eardrops is 3 to 4 drops in each ear. A toddler’s dose would be 2 drops; an infant’s, 1 drop in each ear.

To avoid an uncomfortable oily buildup in the ears, cleanse the ears after treatment by inserting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Here’s another helpful hint: The easiest time to insert eardrops, especially for very young children, is when they are sleeping!

© Andrea Candee. See more about Andrea

The information appearing at Natural Family Online™ is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.

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Natural Family Online™ is intended to provide an open forum for the public exchange of information. Throughout this web site, statements are made pertaining to the properties and functions of foods, supplements, herbs, medicines and other nutritional products as well as to strategies and procedures. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials, products and strategies are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Natural Family Online™ and the Busy Family Network™ are not affiliated with any political or religious organization. Natural Family Online™ and the Busy Family Network™ do not endorse the personal opinions of the individual writers presented on this web site. No part of this website may be misconstrued to be medical or legal advice. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.

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