Baby & Child Care

If you have a child and are interested in giving them the best optimal health from birth, let Pharmaca help you navigate the best in healthy child care. We offer a broad selection of nutritional supplements and vitamins for children of all ages, from multivitamins to easy-to-take omega-3s to vitamin D. We can help you get informed about what supplements to give children when, alongside child care tips to give them the best start possible. We believe that optimal health starts an early age, and want all children to be equipped with the nutrients they need to become a vibrant, healthy adult.

  • Battling Vitamin D Deficiency in Children

    An August 3, 2009, study published in the journal Pediatrics reported that the majority of American children between the ages of 1 and 21 have insufficient blood levels of vitamin D. The report showed that almost 10 percent of children qualify as deficient, putting them at higher risk for a range of conditions like weakened bones, rickets, diabetes, and even some cancers.

    Make sure your child has the nutritional support he or she needs by taking the following steps:

    Supplement to with 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily to ensure an adequate supply. Speak with one of our licensed practitioners to find out what products are best for your family.

    Buy milk and juice fortified with vitamin D. This will provide about 100 IU of vitamin D per serving.

    Incorporate foods rich in D into the diet, such as salmon (360 IU), tuna (200 IU), eggs (20 IU each), or Swiss cheese (12 IU).

    Get 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure at least 3 times each week. Most experts agree the benefits of vitamin D outweigh the risks of going without sunscreen for small periods of exposure.

    Limit computer and TV time. Since excess body fat is known to keep vitamin D out of the blood stream, staying active makes sure consumed amounts will benefit the body.

    Speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about other ways to boost your child's vitamin D intake.

  • Back to School Essentials

    Heading back to school can mean big changes for little ones. From new classrooms to more homework, this transition makes it all the more important to stay healthy and focused. Fortunately, Pharmaca’s shelves are filled with supplements and educational tools designed to help put your child at the head of the class.

    Boost their immunity
    Herb Pharm Children’s Echinacea glycerite
    This totally organic liquid echinacea is infused with sweet orange essential oil, meaning it tastes great (even for picky kids) while delivering immune support in an easily absorbable liquid form. Parents love that Herb Pharm’s tinctures are made from only the best ingredients: fresh, hand-harvested echinacea, pharmaceutical-grade glycerine and distilled water.
    Stop germs in their tracks
    Gabriel Kids Germ Busting Soap
    Suds up little hands with this all-natural soap that gently washes away potentially harmful bacteria. Ingredients including aloe vera and fennel extract soothe delicate skin while also cleaning away remnants of the day’s play.
    Ease cold and flu symptoms
    Hyland’s Sniffles ’N Sneezes 4 Kids
    When your child gets sick, turn to Hyland’s homeopathic remedies—a safe and effective alternative to conventional OTC children’s cold and flu medicines. Sniffles ’N Sneezes is specially designed for children ages 2-12, and relieves sneezing, sore throat, runny nose and headaches through a quick-dissolving tablet. It also contains zinc, which is clinically proven to cut a cold's length in half.
    Provide nutritional support
    Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears Multi-vitamin
    If your kids love fruit snacks, they’ll love these chewy, delicious multis. Yummi Bears are filled with important vitamins and minerals to help balance nutrition—leaving out artificial flavors and colors or common allergens like gluten, nuts and dairy.
    Better their brains
    Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA
    More and more clinical tests are showing the importance of DHA for proper brain function—especially during early cognitive development. Infused with strawberry essence, Nordic Naturals’ Children’s DHA provides valuable nutrients in a tasty, chewable supplement that kids will love. They won’t even know they’re taking cod liver oil!
    Feed their needs
    Mimi the Sardine Pink Flora Lunchbug
    Lunchbugs are fun and practical: your kids will love carrying them, and you’ll love how easy to clean they are (just wipe, or machine-wash and tumble dry on low). Equipped with a sturdy zipper and soft handles, children and adults alike fall in love with the Lunchbugs’ fun and colorful patterns, now available in eco-friendly organic cotton.
    Keep them learning
    Melissa and Doug USA Map Floor Puzzle
    This large wooden map is a must for young geography students. Kids can spend hours fitting together this colorful, informative puzzle, learning about the landscape and unique features of each of the country’s regions.
    Protect their skin
    Alba Kids Sunscreen SPF 30
    Eliminate playground and soccer-field sunburns with this water-resistant sunscreen. Alba’s fast-absorbing lotion combines certified organic ingredients including aloe vera and green tea to protect and soothe delicate young skin.
    Teach them responsibility
    Melissa and Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart
    Reward kids for good behavior—like completing chores and saying please and thank you—with a smiley face each night. Children love earning their smiles, and the durable magnetic board can be personalized and used over and over again.
  • Nutrition Essentials for Healthy Kids

    Want to give your little one a foundation for good health? We spoke with Shannon Wood, naturopath at our Menlo Park, Calif., store, about her recommendations for what every child under 12 should be taking to help keep them healthy, strong and focused.

    Fish Oil
    "My first recommendation is always fish oil," says Shannon. "We know it's imperative for mental cognition." That's especially important during the learning and developing years, and can help with any issues in the neurological or nervous systems. Shannon loves the Nordic Naturals Children's DHA, which has a great strawberry taste and comes in easy-to-swallow capsules (or try their DHA Junior, in even smaller capsules).

    While Shannon always encourages parents to teach good nutrition, most children can still use a multivitamin to make up for deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. She likes ChildLife's Multi Vitamin and Mineral liquid formula, especially good for kids who are picky eaters or who are at risk for nutrient deficiencies. She also likes that the liquid is more bioavailable than capsules, and comes in a tasty orange-mango flavor.

    For older kids, Nordic Naturals' Nordic Berries is another good choice. "It's a pretty complete multi and kids enjoy the taste," says Shannon.

    A “maintenance” dose of probiotics can be key for a number of things, including boosting immunity, lessening the effects of allergies and soothing digestive issues. For daily use, Shannon recommends Yum Yum Dophilus by Jarrow Formulas, a chewable, raspberry-flavored probiotic that kids love.

    But, she says, “If kids go on a round of antibiotics, make sure they’re on a high-potency probiotic for at least one month afterward.” This will help replenish the good intestinal flora that the antibiotics may have stripped away. Shannon recommends parents look for high-potency probiotics for children from Metagenics.

    Vitamin D
    "I just love vitamin D," says Shannon. "It's essential for almost everybody, since our population is chronically deficient." Vitamin D is essential to bone health, especially in growing children, as well as a variety of other health conditions. She says Rainbow Light's Sunny Gummies are very popular ("We can't keep them on the shelf!" Shannon says), and they come in two different potencies. She recommends the 400 IUs for children under 12, and 1,000 IUs for kids over 12.

    If you're looking for a liquid form, Pharmaca's Kids Vitamin D3 is an easy way to administer them, either under the tongue or in juice.

    Vitamin C
    “Vitamin C is good for general immune support,” says Shannon. That immune boost can be especially important as kids get back into the classroom and are exposed to more germs. She recommends Natural Factors Vitamin C Natural Fruit Chews, available in six fun flavors.

    Talk to a Pharmaca practitioner about other important supplements to boost your child’s health.

  • Early Essentials for Natural Kids

    Get your children off to a healthy start by making natural choices when it comes to their care. Pharmaca’s in-store staff of licensed health care professionals can direct you to the best products, whether your little one is feeling bad or staying well. Shayne Case, a clinical herbalist at Pharmaca’s Portland store, and Tyler Bruno, a former acupuncturist at the Pacific Palisades location, lent their expertise on the best choices for the early years.

    Bruno recommends Rainbow Light’s Complete Prenatal vitamins for soon-to-be mothers. These include additional herbs to help support pregnancy on top of the essential nutrients. Case suggests vitamin B6 for mothers experiencing nausea or morning sickness. If the idea of swallowing a vitamin is challenging, try WishGarden’s Calm-A-Tum or the homeopathic remedy Ipecacuanha.

    “The number one thing we see is colic, especially in first 3 months,” says Case. She recommends Cocyntal Colic Relief by Boiron, a homeopathic remedy in a liquid single dose for gas pains and irritability due to sensitive digestive systems. For mothers with newborns, a great formula to help with milk production is Lactation Blend Nursing Support by Vitanica.

    Bruno encourages toddlers to enjoy Nordic Berries by Nordic Naturals for their daily intake of fish oil. “Kids love them, and they are great for brain development,” she says.

    School Age and Beyond
    During this time of growth and development, a good multi-vitamin is great for providing stable nutrition. Taking a combination of fish oil and probiotic is recommended for kids experiencing hormonal changes. Case likes Jarro-Dophilus probiotic system for immune health. This product is easy because it comes in single use blister packs that don’t need to be refrigerated.

  • Baby Basics (and Great Gift Ideas!)

    Whether it’s you or a loved one that's getting ready for a new addition to the family, here are some great ideas for stocking an all-natural nursery. Here, some Pharmaca Team Members talk about their favorite ways to keep baby healthy:

    Soothe their skin
    “We can’t live without the Avalon Baby Massage Oil.  It was recommended as a bath oil for my 2-year-old son with eczema. It is so nice, moisturizing and works great with his super sensitive skin (and it’s not loaded with petroleum or other junk!). It really helps keep both my kids’ skin baby soft in the dry Colorado climate.”
    -Lisa S, Team Member

    Help them sleep
    “Our son Jack loved the Sleep Sheep On the Go for the first year—travel and sleep would have been rough without it! Now he’s two and loves the Twilight Turtle. We have had to replace the batteries multiple times, since it makes bedtime easier for all of us.”
    -Heather S., Wife of Team Member Derek W.

    Keep the diaper bag stocked
    “Here’s what I always have in my bag for Chloe, 3, and Logan, 1:
    ·         Yes to Baby Carrots Soothing Diaper Cream—Because you never know when a rash will break out
    ·         Cleanwell Hand Sanitizer—Grubby hands are everywhere! And when your kid tries to pick gum up off of the ground you can sanitize those hands.
    ·         Cleanwell Disinfectant Wipes—You don’t know how clean that table/highchair is in a restaurant, so it’s nice to wipe it off prior to letting your kids gnaw at it!
    ·         Spare Pacifiers—One pops out and you don’t realize for a mile. Better to have a spare then to have an episode in the middle of errands.
    ·         Small toys/Melissa and Doug art supplies—Got to keep them entertained all the time!"
    -Tiana U., Team Member

    Boost their immunity
    “My daughter started going to daycare when she was 5 months old—it was flu season and she often got caught by spreading germs and viruses from fellow daycare-goers. Then a Pharmaca practitioner recommended Pharmaca Kid’s Immune Booster to me.  I started to mix droplets of the supplement in her formula, and it works! It definitely strengthens and supports her immune system and since then she has become stronger and is sick less often.”
    -Run Z., Team Member

    Keep them protected
    “We love the Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen Spray, since it sprays on easy and works really well with no irritation – and we have a baby with very sensitive skin! And now that he’s up and running, the Neosporin Neo-to Go has been nice to have in my purse for when he crashes. I have also been using a lot of it on bug bites that he scratches too much.”
    -Heather S., Wife of Team Member Derek W.

  • Johnson’s Baby Shampoo Still Made with Known Carcinogens

    Two years ago, at the urging of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Johnson & Johnson began working to phase out two known carcinogens from their Baby Shampoo: the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Recently the Campaign publicized the fact that those chemicals are still present in the basic formulation (though consumers can pay extra for the carcinogen-free version, Johnson’s Natural Baby Shampoo).

    The public announcement seems to have worked, since Johnson & Johnson released a statement on Oct. 31 saying they are “phasing out these types of preservatives in our baby products worldwide.” How quickly this actually happens remains to be seen, but you can write to Johnson & Johnson directly via the Campaign website.

    Until then, take comfort in the fact that Pharmaca offers a wide range of baby shampoos and washes that are always free of toxic chemicals. We love the Yes To Baby Carrots line, also on sale this month!

  • Is TV Shortening Your Life?

    Who doesn't like to settle in to a Friday night movie with a bowl of popcorn after a long, hard workweek? If that’s your idea of heaven, consider this: A recent study by the University of Queensland and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in August claims that for every 60 minutes of television we watch after the age of 25, our life is shortened by almost 22 minutes! If the information in this Australian report is true, then watching too much television ranks right up there with smoking and obesity as health hazards. Of course, there are unknown variables that probably go along with television watching that also lend themselves to increased mortality

    When it comes to which activities you choose to engage in when relaxing, consider exploring outdoor (or even indoor) fun activities that don’t require turning on TV. Be creative (or check out these family-friendly activities from Parents) and know that it’s important to be paying as much attention to how you treat your body as you do to what you put in your body.

  • Cloud B Products and Better Sleep for Baby

    Proper sleep is essential for a healthy, developing child. Discover Cloud B’s soothing products, which are specially designed to help children sleep better.

    Created in conjunction with a certified board of pediatricians, Cloud B’s products help soothe the senses by creating a peaceful environment and ease a child’s fear of the dark—perfect companions for your child’s bedside.

    Older children will love Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, plush toys that project a starry night sky on your child’s bedroom ceiling. Just switch it on and walls are covered with eight actual constellations, which children can learn how to identify with the accompanying illustrated Storybook and Star Guide. Fun for children of all ages!

    To create the most calming sound environment for infants, choose Sleep Sheep On The Go, which can play one of four unique sounds, including gentle stream, spring showers, ocean waves or whale songs. It’s compact enough to take with you whether you’re strolling in the park or on vacation, and ideal to help children get to sleep when they’re in unfamiliar environments.

    Cloud B’s multi-award winning products have become leaders in helping children sleep, allowing both parents and their children to have a good night’s rest.

  • Back to School Days

    Get your little one prepared to head to school with the right nutrition, brain-boosting supplements and eco-friendly gear.

    8am: Breakfast
    For complete nutrition, send them off with a spoonful of ChildLife Essentials delicious orange/mango-flavored multivitamin. While you’re at it, jump-start their immunity with a dropperful of WishGarden Herbs Kick-It Immune Kids in their morning OJ.

    9am: Off to school
    Fill their backpacks with eco-friendly notebooks and pencils from a variety of brands, along with CleanWell Hand Sanitizer Wipes (triclosan-free!) to keep germs away.

    10am: Recess
    Make sure they’ve been slathered ahead of time with some all-natural sun protection, like the Environmental Working Group’s top-rated Goddess Garden Kid’s Natural Sunscreen. And rest easy when they hydrate with water from a fun, safe and reusable water bottle from Sigg, Lifefactory or EarthLust.

    Noon: Cafeteria
    Fill one of the retro-inspired lunchboxes from So Young Mother with whole foods like apples, carrots and yogurt. “Keep away from processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup,” says Whitney Elkins-Hutten, nutritionist at our North Boulder store. “If you give them healthy options, they’ll take the ones that are most interesting,” she says. She notes that adding stickers to a sandwich bag, or even cutting the sandwich it into fun shapes, can be enough to encourage them to eat well. And in the end, don’t worry if they want to eat the same thing every day. “Kids like routine,” says Whitney. “Just keep trying to introduce new foods slowly.”

    2pm: Snacktime
    When little ones need brainfood, make sure they’ve got a package of Pharmaca’s healthy and delicious snacks. They’ll get a great afternoon pick-me-up with nut and fruit mixes like Organic Protein Power or the Antioxidant-Rich Trail Mix (including cranberries, papaya and raisins).

    And don’t forget the omega-3s! Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Gummies are an easy and tasty way to get the DHA and EPA that growing brains need.

    4pm: Playtime
    Set up your little Picasso with non-toxic art supplies from EcoKids. Colored pencils are made from recycled newspaper, wax and vegetable-derived glue. Or outfit them with recycled crayons from Crazy Crayons.

    6pm: Shower/bathtime
    Lather up with Clean Kids by Gabriel’s Liquid Soap or Foaming Bath to bust germs and gently clean skin. And they’ll enjoy bathtime even more when you turn on Putumayo’s Rock & Roll Playground CD, featuring Dan Zanes and friends doing a kid-friendly version of early rock and roll.

    8pm: Bedtime!
    After a full day of activities, they’ll need to get the best sleep possible to prepare for the next school day. If they have trouble falling asleep, turn to Hyland’s Calms Forte 4 Kids, a well-loved sleep remedy that quells restlessness without making them groggy. You can even switch on Cloud B’s Twilight Turtle and they’ll fall asleep to soft light and starry constellations.

    Good night!

    To get expert advice about your child’s growing needs—or just to pick up some fun gear for school—stop into a Pharmaca today. 

  • Studies Show Homeopathics for Ear Infection Superior to Antibiotics

    Most children, at some point, develop an earache that's often caused by an infection in the ear canal. Concerned parents then call the child’s pediatrician, and if the doctor does find the child has an ear infection, they'll usually prescribe an antibiotic medicine. You may, instead, want to try homeopathic remedies for ear infections.

    But parents should take note: A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that homeopathic remedies for ear infections, such as those found at Pharmaca, really help.  Homeopathic treatments for ear infection are safe, effective and produce no side effects, making this approach to healing an appealing solution for worried parents.

    An earlier study, published in 1997 in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, divided 131 children into two groups, receiving either homeopathic treatment or antibiotic treatment. The study showed that the children receiving homeopathic treatment recovered an average of one day faster than the children who received antibiotics. In yet another study in 2001, the British Homeopathic Journal compared homeopathic treatment for ear infection to placebo treatment in 230 kids with acute ear infection. Again, the children in the homeopathic group recovered more quickly—after only 12 hours, 72 percent of them recovered 2.4 times faster than the children receiving the placebo.

    Homeopathic Treatments for Ear Infection

    The research shows that homeopathic remedies can be hugely successful in treating ear infections in children, so before you get any prescriptions filled, you may want to consider these safer, effective options:

    • Homeopathic ear drops— Comprised of many different natural ingredients that are used to safely and effectively relieve the pain often associated with an ear infection.
    • Homeopathic earache tablets—Taken orally to relieve pain quickly and safely with no side effects.
    • Belladonna—Derived from the plant of the same name. This remedy is used to treat a variety of ailments and is indicated for earaches causing severe pain, ear redness and fever.
    • Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum—A mixture of finely powdered oyster shells and pure flowers that is indicated for severe earaches accompanied by a thick, colored discharge from the nose or ears.
    • Pulsatilla—A combination of more than 30 species of herbaceous perennials that is helpful for earaches accompanied by a yellow or green discharge from the ears or nose.

    As with all homeopathic remedies, please consult your doctor before administering them to children. And as always, you can always speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about dosing and administration questions.

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