Some Interesting Children’s Health Notes: Zinc, Vaccinations, Flower Essences, Encopresis and More

Due to my professional background, sometimes interesting things regarding the health of infants and children pass over my desk.  Today I have chosen a few of these items to share with you!


I am over halfway through the book “What Babies and Children Really Need”  by Sally Goodard Blythe in order to write a review for Donna Simmons over at  Christopherus (so look for a review soon!).  In it was a very interesting quote about zinc, and I thought I would share it with you all:

Boys need five times the amount of zinc in utero that girls need (for formation of testes), so commonly it is the boys who are grossly deficient.  This may result in poor growth and general development both before and after birth, colic and diarrhoea, poor sucking, late teething and other milestones and generally retarded development both physically and mentally.  Hyperactivity, dyslexia, and behavioural problems will mar the school career and general growth and puberty may be delayed and/or incomplete.”

This passage went on to say that many children diagnosed with ADHD have low zinc levels.  For girls, signs of zinc deficiency show up around age 9, when the ovaries begin to function in preparation for puberty years later.  Low zinc status may also linked to anorexia.

Very interesting stuff!

On to other health notes:


The second piece of information that passed my desk regarding children’s health was one regarding encopresis.   For those of you who have never heard of this debilitating condition,  encopresis is an elimination disorder that affects up to 3 percent of children ages 4 and over and is found more commonly in boys.  It is essentially fecal incontinence over constipation.  The onset is usually due to chronic constipation which causes a stretching of the colon-rectum area, which leads to decreased sensitivity.  This results in the child not being able to feel the need to go to the bathroom and the softer stool starts leaking around the blockage of constipation.  This causes emotional distress for the older child who understands these “accidents” are happening, and really affects quality of life.

Traditional approaches such as stool softener and laxatives, regulation of fiber, scheduled toileting all seem to fail in treating this condition. 

Now a program at Saint Louis University Hospital is having some success with children ages 7 and up who have this condition in as little as 12 to 15 weeks with pelvic floor training.

This could be just the breakthrough parents of children with encopresis are waiting for!

(Addendum:  A lovely mother emailed me with some more resources for parents whose children are dealing with encopresis.  She writes there is an active forum on Yahoo Groups for parents of children with encopresis. There are over 400 members currently. It’s a great place for people to feel that they are not alone and share advice.

She also writes she has found one program to be quite helpful for parents who have tried everything (including treatment centers). The name of the program is Soiling Solutions. Here is the website:
This is a home-based treatment with an active parent forum that includes a GI doctor, a behavioral psychologist (founder of SS), a social worker, and many parents in the trenches of helping their children.

The other program you might want to refer folks to is the U Can Poop Too program.  This is a study out of a university. Forget which one. The site is down temporarily today. Parents can participate in the study and get help for free. This is an online program —

LATEST UPDATE 7/13/10 – This came to me from one of the investigators of this study:  “The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the intervention was developed at the University of Virginia.  The purpose of this study is to determine whether an Internet-delivered intervention can help treat encopresis.  Thus, all families with access to the Internet could potentially be eligible to participate as there is no face-to-face involvement.
The link you have on your site is correct:
But unfortunately, on the day of the posting we had severe weather that put our servers down for about 36 hours.  The good news is that all is back up and running smoothly.” 

Thank you so much for this update!! Hope this is helpful to some families!)

Thank you to my readers, who are the experts! 🙂  Many blessings!


Here is an one mother’s story regarding vaccinations from the Christopherus website:

Here is a book regarding an anthroposophical view of vaccinations and you can read part of it on Google Reader: 

The other two books I like on the subject include “The Vaccine Book:  Making the Right Decision For Your Child” by Dr. Robert Sears and Aviva Jill Romm’s book, “Vaccinations:  A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide:  How To Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits and Alternatives.”



Here is a link for you:


Vitamin D deficiency is turning out to be HUGE here in the United States, and is of great concern for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.  Here is a good summary of information from La Leche League:

Happy investigating!

Many blessings,


10 thoughts on “Some Interesting Children’s Health Notes: Zinc, Vaccinations, Flower Essences, Encopresis and More

  1. Carrie, does Sally Goddard-Blythe recommend a blood test before supplementing children with zinc? Does she recommend any specific supplements for children in general?

    • She does not specify any supplements/dosages, so I think one would have to have a blood test to determine zinc levels to see where they are. Interesting though, eh?
      Loved seeing you on Melisa’s list, love your blog and your posts over there!
      Did you know I am from NY originally? Maybe I will get there this summer to visit family!

  2. I found the article on vaccinations enlightening that at the very least, good research was done on each vaccine. However, what I always wish was included was the risk to other children. For instance, in my daughter’s preschool, there was an outbreak of whooping cough recently. My daughter was almost fully vaccinated, but my baby, whom I take with me for drop off every day, and let the kids play with her as I am not worried about colds, is not. Also, another almost fully vaccinated child who was at the preschool had a cough and was treated for whooping cough automatically with antibiotics. He was allergic to the antibiotic and had a very scary hospital stay due to this. So even though he may have not had whooping cough, his life was threatened by the treatment that is standard.
    I guess what I want to say is that if you are not going to vaccinate your children against some diseases, you have to be extremely careful about who your child comes in contact with. Perhaps an unvaccinated child should not be in a school situation until Kindergarten when all children are fully vaccinated.
    I was always under the assumption that not vaccinating would only affect the child who wasn’t vaccinated, but in reality, you are also putting other children at risk, especially babies.

  3. Thank you, Carrie. I did some more research and read that there is no good test for levels of zinc. I also read that copper pipes in your house might upset your zinc levels. I guess it’s a complex issue. I was wondering about the zinc because my son has failed to gain a lot of weight (even as a baby) due to no obvious reasons except food allergies. He’s very healthy and bright, but could use a few extra pounds. All my children are very light, though, so it might be just my children, but I was wondering if there is a connection.

    Where in New York are you from? We live in Western New York, in the middle of nowhere, south of Buffalo.


  4. There was recently a small article in Mothering Naturally ( I think thats what its called) that mentioned a new study regarding vaccination rates and parental concerns. The lowering number of fully vaccinated children, those on alternative schedules and parental concerns seem to finally becoming loud enough to draw attention from the medical field. Apparently the conclusion of the study was that doctors needed to decide how to address parents questions and concerns more clearly. And parental concern needed to be taken into account with regards to recommendations. Simply saying that they recommend you vaccinate is not good enough. I struggle a lot with this issue and the distance between what is best for my kids and what my social obligation is. Im just not sure.

  5. About unvaccinated children endangering others-my fully vaccinated husband and two of my kids (fully vaxed before we quit) ages 6 and 2 all got whooping cough. My son and myself did not. My son was not fully vaxed. He certainly didn’t carry it-my oldest went to public school. It was annoying but non-dangerous. Provided you are breastfeeding, your 2 month old should have your immunity and it should not be a problem if you are in good health and breastfeeding. Breastmilk contains immunities for young infants. There is no way to get true herd immunity-immune problems are common enough that not everybody could even be vaxed even if there was no choice. Plus many vaccines pass the virus on-look at the MMR.

    I have seen about using zinc with boys before, and kids with SPD, like my son. I wonder what the dosage would be? In the Out of Sync child book, they talk about zinc helping, as well as magnesium.

    • Hi Desiree,
      I wonder if a naturopath who specializes in pediatrics or even a DAN! doctor who is more used to looking at vitamin/mineral deficiencies would know?
      Many blessings,

  6. I continued to be amazed by people who think that an unvaccinated child somehow “endangers other children”.

    First of all – even if you ARE vaccinated, do you think that when your child comes into contact with a virus he/she has been vaccinated for, the virus bounces off of them and disintegrates? It doesn’t – it is carried on the skin, in the nasal passage, throat, or inside the body. The child just may not show symptoms, possibly as a result of their vaccination.

    An unvaccinated child is no more a danger to other children or babies, than a vaccinated child is. In fact, there is a good case to be made for vaccinated children being more of a danger as a result of their definite exposure to the various viruses they’ve been vaccinated for.

    Vaccinations don’t make you virus-proof and carrier free.

  7. I am a mom dealing with a child that has encopresis.
    My neuro ped recently talked to be about the padovan method. To my utter surprise, this method if based on Steiner’s lectures!

    If you can read french, you can read more about it here:éthode.php, or if you speak spanish, I think ther are information on the web in the language too.
    I thought you might enjoy it.

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