Common Sense Pediatrics combines the best of alternative therapies and traditional medicine for everyday use by parents and health care providers alike. Trained in traditional western medicine, Dr. Franz has discovered that alternative medicine has much to offer to complement and speed healing. Western medicine treats symptoms where the nontraditional or alternative entities treat the whole person. Looking at the whole body, mental, emotional, and physical, offers more opportunity to find the root cause of illness and stimulate deep healing.
Common Sense Pediatrics is
a compilation of 20 + years of
Dr. Franz’s pediatric experience.
The body is more than the sum of its parts, and I have learned that when one sees the person as a whole being- emotional, physical, and spiritual- that healing can be deeper and more thorough than just treating symptoms.
Excerpts from Common Sense Pediatrics
The Franz Center supports parents’ decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.
Infectious diseases have been, and continue to be, the number one killer of people worldwide. Most of us have been fortunate to grow up in a time where polio, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, and rubella no longer cause countless and pointless deaths. Most of us have never seen measles or polio. Most of us have no recollection of the iron lung machines for polio victims. Dr Edward Jenner discovered the first vaccine. He discovered that milkmaids did not get smallpox and he created the first vaccine- smallpox. The word vaccine comes form the Latin vaccinus meaning from cows. The concept of giving a small dose of something to induce immunity is a useful one and from there we have had the development of many vaccines in hopes of eradicating common childhood illnesses.
Physicians are VERY jaded and opinionated about their view on shots because most of us older than thirty‐five remember days and nights when we watched children die from meningitis or invasive pneumonia and prayed for something to help. It is these experiences that contribute to the dogmatic approach physicians have on vaccinations. It is believed that HIB meningitis has declined since the inception of the HIB vaccine in 1985. It may also be that the illness was reaching a natural decline as many infectious diseases have done in the past. We will never actually know.
Polio was projected to be eradicated worldwide by 2010. There was an outbreak in 2002 in the Dominican Republic and in Angola. There was also a minor outbreak in Minnesota in an Amish community in 2006. International travel has allowed the threat of many diseases to become a real possibility; look at the books and news information on bioterrorism. Infectious disease secondary to international travel would decimate populations. Thanks to SARS we now know it takes eighteen hours for a virus to traverse the globe. Just because we have not had any problems in the U.S. does not mean there could not be a problem from international travel in the future.
These are facts. They are scary. They help promote mass fear. And most of the diseases that would be spread so rapidly are not the ones for which we are vaccinating.
What to do? Do your own research and do your best to not tap into the fear machine. “What if” is quite popular and an effective tool of fiction to get parents scared. There is only “what is” and if you learn to eat well, drink plenty of water, avoid toxins, and phive a “clean” life, much of this is nothing more than conversation.
Immunity is what is important. A healthy immune system will prevent illness or keep an illness at a level where immunity is created to that disease state without significant harm to the host.
That is what vaccines are meant to do…to create immunity and help the host not get sick when confronted with that germ. The intent is helpful. The actuality is not quite so beneficial. By giving too many vaccines at once to a young and immature immune system, we may actually be creating dysfunction and a weaker immune system rather than strengthening it. We may have set the stage for more chronic illness.
Some children with very sensitive immune systems do not tolerate vaccines and can suffer long‐term health issues after vaccination. The challenge is that we do not know who they are before the vaccine is given.
In my opinion, our best screening information at this time is the family history. We ask for an extensive family history, three generations back, on both sides of the family (of the mother and father of the child), aunts, uncles, and cousins, etc. This is critical! It is important to determine if any close relatives had any bad reactions to vaccinations. We also like to know if there is any family history of autoimmune illnesses like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, asthma, lupus, etc. It is important to learn about your families’ medical histories to the best of your ability! There is some speculation that a strong family history of autoimmune problems might make some individuals more susceptible to having an adverse reaction to vaccinations. There is also evidence that repeated vaccination can stimulate autoimmune dysfunction. If there is a history that Mom was exposed to heavy metals then there are health risks to the baby as heavy metals easily cross the placenta!
Twenty years ago children received 18 vaccines between 2 months and 5 years (DPT, OPV, HIB, MMR, and HBV). Now they receive 49 total vaccine doses between 2 months and 5 years and during this same twenty-year time frame (as we have increased the number of vaccines) we have seen a huge increase in autism, ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, and chronic illness that cannot be explained on environmental factors alone. Many call it coincidence. It is not.
Vaccines also contain ingredients like aluminum (a KNOWN neurotoxin, formaldehyde (a known preservative) MSG (a common allergen), and other ingredients that can be toxic to a body as well.
I believe there is some undefined link between vaccines and their potential to trigger an autoimmune event that leads to a cascade of dysfunction in predisposed patients. If we were to QUIT vaccinating, the illnesses for which we give them would increase in a short time…..in susceptible populations. The first step, in my opinion, is being aware. Giving fewer shots at a visit, screening family histories, and listening to parents when they tell us “things are not right” can help prevent permanent injury from vaccines. Lifestyle choices can enhance the immune response.
If you choose to vaccinate, then do so SLOWLY- no more than one at a time. Eat as much organic food as possible. Avoid genetically modified (GMO) foods as they are being shown to create intestinal problems. Eat “clean” (not more than 2-5 ingredients listed on any prepackaged food), get outdoors for fresh air and sunshine (which promotes vitamin D synthesis). Do your best to avoid antibiotics (sometimes they re necessary!). Lifestyle choices like these promote a healthy immune system.
By getting vaccines one at a time, you can reduce the load to 10 total vaccines between 2 months and 5 yrs. (4 DTaP, 3 IPV, 1 HIB, 1 Prevnar, 1 MMR). This leaves out Hepatitis A, B, Influenza, Rotavirus, and Chickenpox vaccinations.
There is no need for Hep A in my estimation. Hep B if there are risk factors only. An immunocompetent host can handle chickenpox. The most compelling reason to get a chickenpox vaccine is because someone in the house is immunocompromised (chemotherapy, transplant etc.)
The Franz Center immunization schedule covers Diptheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) first as there has been an increase in pertussis in the last few years.(45000 cases in 2012. And in the same year it was determined that the DTaP is not that effective and there is concern that the pertussis bacteria may be becoming immune to the vaccine) We give no more than two shots at a time, but up to three or four vaccines depending on the combination vaccines available (Like DTaP). It is preferred to give no more than one at a time!
Hepatitis B is spread via blood and body fluids (IV drugs and sexual contact being the most common high risk behaviors). If Mom had prenatal care and had no hepatitis and there are no behavior risk factors, then Hep B is not necessary. If parents desire the vaccine for their child, it can be stated after 9 months and worked in to the schedule. We respect the rights of parents to choose not to immunize their children. While there are some who do not agree with it, we will not chastise or criticize you. We do have an informed consent that explains what vaccines you are refusing, and what can happen to your child without vaccines.
It is important for parents to understand and accept all responsibility and liability whether they choose to vaccinate or not. We are not liable should your child contract an illness for which there is a vaccine nor if there is an issue as a result of giving a vaccine. It is an informed choice on the parent’s part. It is important for parents to realize that at some point tetanus may become an issue. If an unvaccinated child receives a puncture wound or a deep dirty wound, then BOTH a tetanus vaccine AND Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG) must be given within seventy‐two hours of the injury. A single vaccine does not provide immunity.
Antibodies are formed within twelve to fourteen days after receiving a vaccination, which is the same time for incubation of tetanus toxin. Treatment for tetanus is supportive. It can be a very unpleasant illness. Taking homeopathic Ledum and herbal Echinacea can be useful in the event of a puncture wound. Whooping Cough or Pertussis (The “P” in the DTaP) is also back on the rise. Whooping Cough is 100% transmissible from an infected person to a non‐immune person. The people spreading it are actually immunized adults. There are 800,000 to one million cases of whooping cough in the United States on any given day in adults with a “nagging cough.” Pertussis has a high mortality rate in children under age one. Statistics are demonstrating that a lot of people who have been diagnosed with pertussis have actually been immunized. Makes one wonder how effective really is the vaccine? Pertussis cough can also be helped with A.I.R. tea.
This practice maintains the philosophy of no more than one shot at a visit. If a parent feels strongly that their child should receive two at a time, then we will respect that choice. It is also ideal to begin vaccines at or after 12 months of age when the blood brain barrier has closed and the adjuvants in the vaccines cannot cross into the brain so easily. If a child has a reaction that we consider unacceptable, or you, the parent, feels was of concern, we re‐evaluate the vaccine schedule for that individual.
If parents choose not to vaccinate, we support your decision for your child. Please feel free to discuss your concerns with us. We wish for you to have as much useful information as possible when making your decisions.
We hope this explains our philosophy on vaccines and the reasons for our beliefs. Remember that with our schedule, your child is behind on vaccines compared to other pediatric practices! However, even on our delayed schedule, all children are up to date by age three years old. Your child may have to receive vaccines at a visit other than your regularly scheduled well visit. You will be required to pay your co‐pay for these extra visits. You still have the choice of giving all four to five vaccines at a visit as recommended by the AAP and ACIP…just not in this practice.
Vaccines can be substituted in the schedule with no adverse consequences. The schedule is recommended but not written in stone. There is much more incredible information in the book! Common Sense Pediatrics has an older version of this policy and philosophy. Vaccine schedule- this can be begun any time. I have elected to write it beginning at 6 months as a demonstration of how it will look. It can be adapted to any age. Time between vaccines is best at 90 days.
Measle Mumps Rubella Because of the media coverage linking MMR and autism, I recommend waiting until three years old to give the MMR. While there is no scientific proof of a link between these two elements, I choose to believe there may be a connection (I believe it is the number of vaccines given at the same time that begins the negative domino effect leading to Autistic Spectrum Disorder). Because autism, as a naturally evolving disorder, will be evident MOST of the time by age two, we choose to use this age as our benchmark. We feel that delaying this vaccine until at least two years old gives any patient developing autistic features time to manifest the process. Almost every parent I have spoken with who has an autistic child has relayed that his or her child suffered developmental regression between eighteen and twenty‐four months of age(commonly after the MMR at 15 months of age).
We were able to separate the components until February 2009. Be aware that there is no scientific proof that separating the components prevents autism.
As of February 2009, Merck no longer offers the components separated. I called and was unable to get a clear answer, and I requested one in writing and was told that was not possible.
It may be wise to delay giving this vaccine until age three. Because MMR is known to decrease vitamin A stores, it is necessary and recommended to give fish oil (Cod Liver Oil is best) for two weeks before and after the vaccine to keep stores full.
Homeopathic Silica and Ledum can also be given at the time of the vaccine to help prevent reactions.
AIR Tea given twice a day for two weeks prior to vaccines can help reduce the possibility of adverse vaccine reactions.
I would suggest contacting Merck and registering your displeasure at this turn of events. One size does not fit all!! Below is their contact information from their website www.Merck.com.
One Merck Drive
P.O. Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889‐0100
Monday‐Friday 8:30 AM ‐ 5:30 PM ET
Flu is universal and occurs yearly, placing the very young, the very old and the immuno-compromised at high risk for severe illness and even death. Thirty-six thousand people a year die from this disease. (Note: that number is rather constant despite a widespread vaccine initiative.)
Fortunately, our immune system was designed to handle illness. Of course, it can be compromised and overwhelmed, which can lead to serious problems. Eating well, drinking plenty of fluids, getting plenty of rest, washing hands and using common sense will do the bulk of the work to support the immune system and prevent illness! The following treatment options help support the immune system and speed recovery as well as treat the underlying dysfunction.
Vitamin D is essential for the immune system. Proper Vitamin D levels can help protect you from the flu. Ideal levels are 50-70. We are currently having all our patients (over one year of age) vitamin D levels checked and are so far finding that 90% of our patients are vitamin D insufficient. Replacement doses are 1000 IU/25 pounds. Adult dosing is 5000 IU/day and then we are rechecking in 3 months to see the response and adjust the dose as necessary.
Decoctions are concentrated liquid preparations of Chinese herbs which are processed to remove any contaminants and make them palatable. The concentrated liquid is then made into a tea. Warm liquids enter the system faster than pills and can thereby speed the response and recovery from illness.
The Franz Center carries Allergy-Immune-Respiratory Decoction, A.I.R. Tea, a Chinese herbaceutical that works on any respiratory mucous membrane affliction. It will address most mild upper airway mucous membrane issues like colds, ear aches, sore throats, mild cough, etc. For more serious illness with fever, aches, sore throat, etc., then Open Airway Decoction is indicated. Open Air tea (Qing Qi Hua Ta Tang) has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help the immune system take care of these germs. These two herbaceuticals are a must for winter cold and flu season and can be obtained from the Franz Center. Also look at the website www.Sijinbao.com for other practitioners in this area who carry these products.
Homeopathic remedies that may be indicated for the flu are Arsenicum, Bryonia, Gelsemium, Rhus Toxicodendron and Eupatorium Perforatum. Again, consult with a homeopathic practitioner if you cannot find simple symptoms in a good homeopathic book. Their uses are outlined in Common Sense Pediatrics as well as other excellent homeopathic books like Homeopathy at Home by M. Panos, or Ullman and Cummings’ book, Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine can be great resources for simple infections that can be treated at home. Each remedy is based on a history of specific symptoms.
It is well-known that the media over-dramatizes EVERYTHING. Be cautious about how much you watch, as the news will raise your anxiety level and, hence, decrease your immune level. There are enough sensible alternatives that being terrified of something that has not yet happened is unnecessary.
Western medicine still has its place and each individual must do what feels right. I have not found the flu vaccine to be all that helpful, but if you feel it is right for you or know it has helped you and others, then you should get it. Tamiflu, the medication commonly used, can have some negative side effects. I prefer not to use it with children, especially when there are other therapies that work just as well. My focus is alternatives that have a proven record.
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