It’s back to school and the kids are bringing home more than books and papers. The sniffles and sneezes of their classmates are exposing them to germs. Boost your child’s immunity with these helpful hints!
Importance of Hand Washing
The minute the kids walk into the house make them responsible for washing their hands. Since this is the first line of defense against illnesses, regular hand washing should be encouraged. Reminding kids to soap up the hands and sing the ABCs (wash for about 20 seconds), rinse well, and provide a clean towel to dry off. It is especially important to wash after using the bathroom, sneezing or blowing their nose.
Incorporate a Regular Sleep Routine
Busy kid schedules can make bedtime later each night. Kids need a quality restful sleep to keep their immune system working well. Try not to eat a big meal or do work on the computer right before bed. Keep phones and tablets out of the bedroom to reduce the amount of EMR pollution. Showering, reading and even slow stretching before bed can improve the quality of sleep.
Have the kids hydrate with water. Sugary drinks like juice or sports drinks can contain 9 or more teaspoons of sugar. A one liter bottle of soda contains about 100 grams of sugar. This can make your white blood cell activity 40% less effective at fighting germs for up to 5 hours after drinking! Send your kiddos to school with a water bottle, as the community drinking fountain can harbor hundreds of germs.
Get the kids outside in these last days of nice weather. From October to May in Minnesota and other northern states, the sun is not close enough for our bodies to make their own vitamin D. Supplement vitamin D during these long winter months, 1,000 IU for younger kids and 2,000 IU for older kids. A good portion of the population have inherited vitamin D utilization issues and may require more supplementation. If unsure what to supplement, have your doctor test your child’s vitamin D levels through a simple blood test.
Having good bacteria in our intestines not only maintains a healthy digestive system but also supports the body’s natural defense. Several studies have shown that probiotics supports the body’s normal resistance to bacterial and viral infections. Supplementing with probiotics can reduce the number of sick days for your student.
Limiting the amount of sugar in the diet and having your student eat fresh fruits and vegetables can have a huge impact on immune health. Refined sugar and refined carbohydrates can suppress the immune function. Naturally increase vitamin C levels by eating leafy green vegetables, blueberries, and bright colored winter squash.