Dear Parent of a Sickly Preschooler,
I know your pain!
I know that feeling when you wake up in the morning, touch your child’s forhead, feel the heat and immediately cross out all your tasks for the week or two. I know what it’s like to reschedule meetings at midnight, hastily text and email people that sorry, you can’t make it today… And all those horrible chains when one child contracts the virus from another and the vision of staying at home for the rest of your life glooms constantly in your head.
I have four kids with immune deficiencies. Such visions in my life have been far too many 🙂

But I’ve found a way. Not a panaceum, but it helps enough so our children get sick less often and for a much shorter time. Think about it – if you can cut the infection within a day, it’s a good enough solution, isn’t it? And if you can shorten the already blown illness to 2-3 days, it’s not bad, right?
So I do this:
AS PREVENTION I give my kids a few grams of vitamin C per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, like it is in nature, without a crazy regime. A splash of Anna’s Bee C into a glass of cool juice/tea/sparkling water twice a day and there it is. As long as the general rule of ‘as many grams as years’ and ‘every adult resident of a polluted city should take at least 4,000 mg of vitamin C per day’ is on the horizon, it’s a good direction. Mind you, I don’t give my teenagers 15000 mg per day, because I don’t feel it’s prophylactically necessary.
Let’s say that as prevention I give my younger kids roughly 2,000 mg vit c per day and 4,000 mg to my teenagers.
I up the dose in times of widespread infections – I watch their reactions and draw conclusions. There’s no iron rule here – mom’s knowledge of her own children, intuition and observation are the best guide.

At the beginning of an infection, however, the rule becomes strict, no matter the age: 1 teaspoon of Anna’s Bee C every 30 minutes for a start, until bowel tolerance shows the saturation point (you can halve the dose for smaller kids).
The point of vitamin C saturation in the body is indicated by the digestive tract’s response – when the stomach starts growling like a mad dog, bowels gurgle or you get a diarrhea it’s a sign that the kidneys can no longer catch up with the excess of ascorbic acid in your system and the intestines come to aid. And it’s actually a good sign. It means that you’ve reached a maximum level of vitamin C in your bloodstream – antioxidants help fight off viruses, speed up the process of regeneration and coming around.
At this point we halve the dose: either by taking half as much of the syrup or taking it half as often. So if you’ve been giving your child 1 gram of vitamin C every 30 minutes (literally with alarm on), now you give them either 1 gram every or 500 mg every 30 minutes. From now on the diarrhea doesn’t bother us, but we watch the child like a hawk and concentrate on proper hydration. Within a few more hours the symptoms should start going away, but we never-ever stop taking vitamin C immediately after we feel good, because our body needs extra stock of vitamin c to regenerate and strengthen. We keep giving the syrup in a larger-than-everyday dose still for at least a day or two, so that the virus can’t easily come back and ruin our spirits.

It’s not as easy when you begin fighting a few hours or even a few days after infection struck. The later you start your counterattack, the longer the fight, but in any case you still can usually cut the illness by half! The additional bonus is that you can avoid post viral complications, so it’s a win-win situation.

Of course, there might come a time when it’s all insufficient and you finally need to go to the doctor. It’s life, not a fairy tale. That’s why I can’t stress enough how important observation and sound mind is. I, however, no longer run to the clinic every time my kids have a running nose, or I’d have to start a camp in the waiting room 🙂 If I can quickly do the counterattack at home, I do that. And it really works great.

There’s a saying that a treated cold lasts seven days, and untreated – a week, but our colds no longer last beyond 3. We haven’t seen a doctor in a long while, we haven’t been to the hospital for even longer.

Of course, I do more things to keep my family generally healthy, but this one vitamin c thing brought our life comfort to such a level I didn’t expect was even achievable to us. It also saved us a ton of money not paid for doctor’s visits, tests, prescription drugs, hospital visits and absence from work.
It’s definitely worth it.

This is the vitamin C syrup I created for my children

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