It’s that time of the year again that many parents all over the country celebrate- Back To School.
The new school clothes, book bags, lunch box, school supplies, and let’s not forget the Back To School Sickness.
Every year we enjoyed a sick-free summer. No doctors offices, no medicines, just the great outdoors and the Summer sun.
But as soon as those school bells rang, we were in the doctors office within the first month- along with every other child from school.
Try some of these all-natural, preventative measures to help build your child’s immunity to prevent back-to-school-sickness.
Back To School- How to Build Your Child’s Immunity To Prevent Sickness
1- Have a Play Date- or Two
One of the best ways to build your child’s immune system is to expose him/her to germs. Yes, germs.
If your family has been isolated from hundreds of school-aged children all Summer, now is the time to get exposed to other children.
Go to the park, have play-dates, visit children museum’s, go wherever mass amounts of children play to re-introduce public germs.
Keep in mind to follow all of the below suggestions to help prevent sickness.
Probiotics help build your child’s immune system by supporting gut-health.
My family and I take: Kombucha, fermented foods, yogurt and water kefir.
Not just for the health benefits, but we actually enjoy how they taste.
Dr Julie Duran, a naturopathic physician and expert in pediatric natural medicine states:
Probiotics are the friendly helpful bacteria that naturally occur in our guts. They protect our digestive tracts, help us to digest food, assist in toxin clearance, and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. When this bacterial balance becomes disrupted in children, we can see changes in a child’s ability to fend off infections.
I recommend starting children on a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains early on — between 5 and 20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day depending on age.
How to make your own probiotics
- Brew Your Own Kombucha by Common Sense Homesteading
- What’s So Great About Water Kefir by GNOWFGLINS
- How to Make Homemade Yogurt by Cultures For Health
3- Local Honey
Local honey is honey that has been harvested within 100 miles of your home.
Local honey also contains trace amounts of pollen that is indigenous to your area.
Therefore, helps your body develop an immunity to local allergy triggers.
Honey also has antibacterial properties which kill bad bacteria.
*Do not eat raw honey if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, children under 2 yrs old, or those with a compromised immune system
Another tip, if you plan to travel to an area during allergy season, order some local honey from there in advance to help prepare your body for it’s new environment.
4- Get Them Dirty
Dirt Therapy- it’s a real thing.
They’re beneficial microbes in dirt that help build your child’s immunity, so getting dirty is a good thing.
During summer vacation our children are running and playing outside all day.
They are soaking up the suns nourishing rays, getting dirty and plenty of exercise.
Then school starts and we keep them in a building for eight hours or more with florescent lights.
Only to come home and do homework until dark, eat dinner, go to bed- repeat.
Set some time each day after school to go outside and be in nature, even if it’s only 15 minutes.
5- Fire Cider
Fire Cider has been used for decades to help prevent colds, the flu and boost immunity.
Although no scientific research has been performed on the drink itself, many studies have been documented on the individual ingredients supporting their health benefits.
Our family takes Fire Cider daily to help prevent sickness during prime cold and flu season.
Free Fire Cider Ingredients
- ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
- One half cup or more fresh chopped onions
- ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
- One fourth cup or more grated ginger
- Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered. ‘ To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.
- Optional ingredients; Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.
6- Plenty of Rest
Sleep is a vital part of our health. Lack of sleep will lead to learning difficulties, behavioral problems and health issues.
Establish a set time each night, remove all electronics or other stimuli and create a relaxing environment for your child during bedtime.
“Children who aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep have more difficulties with attention, with emotional control, with reasoning, with problem-solving, and also have behavioral problems,” lead author Dr. Elsie Taveras told Reuters Health.
How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-age children require no less than 8 hours of sleep.
|Age||Recommended||May be appropriate||Not recommended|
|14 to 17 hours||11 to 13 hours|
18 to 19 hours
|Less than 11 hours|
More than 19 hours
|12 to 15 hours||10 to 11 hours|
16 to 18 hours
|Less than 10 hours|
More than 18 hours
|11 to 14 hours||9 to 10 hours|
15 to 16 hours
|Less than 9 hours|
More than 16 hours
|10 to 13 hours||8 to 9 hours|
|Less than 8 hours|
More than 14 hours
|9 to 11 hours||7 to 8 hours|
|Less than 7 hours|
More than 12 hours
|8 to 10 hours||7 hours|
|Less than 7 hours|
More than 11 hours
|7 to 9 hours||6 hours|
10 to 11 hours
|Less than 6 hours|
More than 11 hours
7- Start Them On A Schedule Now
Are your children going to bed whenever and getting up late all summer?
Our bodies thrive and excel on a schedule. If you’re waiting until the first day of school to start your new schedule, you are compromising their immune system. Not to mention adding to the chaos of a new school year.
Begin your school sleep schedule one week before school starts to get into the routine.
8- No Antibacterial Anything
From the New York Post, Dr Gilbert Jack claims
The overuse of antibiotics and antiseptic cleaners is impacting our ability to maintain a balance of healthy microbes in our bodies and environments. Studies continue to prove that harmful species will exploit areas with too few good bacteria to fight back. Sterility should not be our goal.
If you would like to learn more about Superbugs, you can read this article on WedMD.
The best defense against germs and harmful bacteria is good hygiene and a strong and healthy immune system. * see how to wash your hands below
9- Wash, Remove, Repeat
As I mentioned above, the best defense against germs and harmful bacteria is good hygiene and a strong and healthy immune system.
Teach your child to wash their hands properly and often.
How to Wash Your Hands
Follow the five steps below to wash your hands the right way every time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
20 Second Song Tip- Have your child sing their ABC’s while washing their hands.
Have your child change their clothes as soon as they get home from school and remove any dirty gym clothes from their backpack to wash.
Clothes can harbor germs and bacteria. Removing, changing and washing infected clothes helps reduce the risk of getting sick.
10- Proper nutrition and Vitamin D
Let’s face it, school lunches are
horrible deplorable. And to be honest, the ones we pack don’t rank much better.
We are pressed for time and the quickest things to pack are generally processed foods.
Not to mention they are the only things our kids will actually eat, right?
But are we really doing ourselves or our children any favors?
According to the USDA, we are supposed to eat 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables PER day! WOW!
The reason for this recommendation because the nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables are our building blocks for optimal health.
For better health, we should all avoid: sugars, died food, processed foods, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
100 Days Of Real Food has a huge menu selection of healthy recipes for all ages of children and all dietary restrictions. Click here to view their recipes
Make sure to get plenty of Vitamin D
According to the US National Library of medicine, Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.
Adequate vitamin D helps prevent colds and depression.
So take your kids to go play outside and soak up those rays for 20 mins a day to help their bodies (and yours) produce the vitamin D it needs to stay healthy!
And lastly, even though the healthiest of people get sick, there are many preventative measures we can all take to help drastically reduce our chances.
Do you have any wellness tips to share?