That was 2008 and according to statistics, it’s only gotten worse.
Once at the Royal Children’s Hospital our son was quickly seen to and given the medications he needed to get his lungs working again. It was only the next day, whilst staying in the short stay area of the hospital that we discovered that our son had been treated on one of the busiest days the hospital had ever experienced. Throughout that Sunday and Monday over 600 children had been seen through the emergency department. Six Hundred!!!! That’s a lot of sick kids, some of them waiting up to six hours to be seen by a doctor.
Why is it that we are facing a paediatric emergency crush? Why are there more children now with chronic illness’ then ever before? Asthma, Allergies ADHD and Autism are all on the rise. Australian children are on the verge on an allergy epidemic with Melbourne now taking the prize for having the highest percentage of children with allergies in the world. A recent study by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found that 1 in 10 Melbourne infants have a food allergy. The “atopic march” concept means that these infants who often present with eczema then go on to have allergies and asthma. This generation of children are becoming sicker.
Our house hasn’t been spared from this “epidemic”. My son, who is now ten years old, had extensive eczema as a baby. He was diagnosed with anaphylactic allergies to dairy, egg, fish and nuts at 9 months and asthma at 12 months. Thankfully now his allergies are well managed and we only see the emergency department about once per year. A relief from the earlier years when he needed to be admitted every time he caught a cold. Even though the new Royal Children’s Hospital is a delightful space with a movie cinema, fishies and meerkats to cheer up the kids, it’s not somewhere you want to be, unless you have too.
My epiphany arrived as I was listening to talkback radio. Dr Jacques Duff, a prominent Psychologist, Neuroscientist and Nutritionist, was being interviewed about ADHD and whether or not it was real. His answer for all these “childhood epidemics” was simple.
Our children are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to function normally. Our soil doesn’t contain enough nutrients to produce the food our bodies need to function.
Simple statement yes? Well, it all starts there and the snowball effect is enormous. Add the insult of anti-biotics to erode the stomach of healthy bacteria, food that is sprayed in chemicals so toxic that insects and bugs won’t want to consume it and air that is polluted with so many heavy metals that you can’t escape breathing them in. Tests have shown that the umbilical cords of babies being born today contain pesticides that were banned 20 years ago!
Our children’s bodies are becoming toxic and they don’t have the nutritional strength to fight it and remove the toxins, their immune systems are going crazy. Suddenly their hyped up, overstimulated immune systems are fighting things like nuts and dairy, that would normally be safe.
My whole family is toxic. My list of allergies is now wheat, sulphites, tomatoes, preservatives, avocados, corn and MSG. We’ve given up calling the ambulance when I have a reaction as I’ve now learnt to take a large dose of anti-histamines and “wait it out.” One day my allergies will become anaphylactic, but I’m hoping to heal my body before it gets to that stage. My whole family is overdosing on essential nutrients in an attempt to heal the damage and remove the heavy metals from our bodies. Hair tests showing arsenic levels ten times above what are considered safe isn’t a warning sign; it’s a great big frigging alarm!
We need to heal this generation and it begins with removing the preservatives, chemicals and toxins from our environment. Stop feeding our fish with antibiotics and chemicals. Stop washing our chickens in arsenic. Stop genetically modifying wheat to the point where it’s so full of gluten, a “natural pesticide”, that it’s causing fatigue just to digest it! Depression, chronic fatigue and other mental health issues are all on an alarming rise. We’re a sick country; it’s not just our children.
We need to wake up to effects of “fast foods” and the saturation of omega 6 oils they're cooked in. Chicken nuggets and chips are not what a child’s body needs and selling it in hospitals to help sick kids “feel better” is ridiculous! Our children’s brains are low in zinc and even 30 years ago a doctor could have told you, “No zinc, No think!” I don’t need a PhD in brain science to be able to see that my son with ADHD has a brain that at times doesn’t fire like it should.
Placing childcare centres on the corners of busy suburban streets may be good for business but as our children breathe in the toxic polluted air it’s making them sick. When I lived in the inner city my son’s pre-school had 20 children, 5 of them had epi-pens. A quarter of these kids had a life threatening allergies! Now that I’m further in the “burbs” my son is the only one who carries a side bag with adrenaline to his cub pack meetings. Fortunately he hasn’t had to use it but it’s a fear and reality we have to live with every day.
If hospitals want to reduce the load of sick kids presenting to their emergency department they need to set up preventative health clinics. Stop the bombardment of chemicals in our food and heal the bodies of our children the way our parents did, with healthy, nutritious food.