Monday, July 22, 2013

Caleb Learns About Homeopathy

The following makes more sense if you know what Homeopathy is. The excellent article Darryl Cunningham Investigates: Homeopathy covers the basics in a succinct, comic book format.

This past weekend I had a conversation with my son about quackery. He's 5 and we were buying him more allergy medication. He wanted the package with the colorful cartoon characters on it. They were homeopathic preparations. I started talking to him about what that meant, and at one point he said, "Oh! Fake medicine, like my cheetah is fake!" He was referring to one of his stuffed animals.

I replied with "Kinda, only no one is trying to trick people into thinking your cheetah is real."

I ended up explaining what the "8x" on one package and the "20c" meant on another, and just how dilute that made the original ingredient. It was easy for him to grasp as one of his science kits has a water dropper which he uses to move around small quantities of things. We ended up miming taking one drop of red food coloring and moving it through 8 levels of dilution. When we got to the end he said "But Daddy, there won't be any red LEFT!"

"I think you understand," I said.

In the end he picked the cherry flavored Benadryl. Unfortunately this has reminded him that he does not like the cherry flavor. We've agreed that when this bottle is empty we'll go back to bubble-gum flavor.


LJ said...

Our benedryl is bubble gum flavored. I picked it out myself for my s, because cherry-flavored cougonh medicine is still a horrible memory from my childhood.

Matthew said...

Caleb generally gets the bubble gum flavor, but he wanted to try something new. I intentionally got the smallest bottle of the cherry, largely because I know from past experience he dislikes the grape and cherry flavors.

I think I'll switch him back to the bubble gum flavor in the near future. I'd hate to put the seven bucks ahead of encouraging him to try new things!