As our amazing summer season starts to wind down, we’re reminded it is almost time to head back to school. With that, can come runny noses, coughs, fevers, sleepless nights, and some unhappy children (and parents). Before your kid’s head back to class, make sure their immune systems are prepared! Here are some tips to prevent your child from getting sick, and keep them primed to fight anything that may come their way.
- When kids are sick, it’s important to increase vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamins A, C, and D, and immune supportive herbs such as elderberry and echinacea. Finding a good quality supplement that kids will actually take can be challenging. However, liquid forms of immune support, such as Vita Kids Immune Support by Douglas Labs, chewable Vitamin C tablets, and Vitamin D3 drops (available at Port Moody Health) can make it easy and tasty for your kids to take. Be sure to avoid products containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup, as they can feed the bad bugs/bacteria.
- Washing your hands is the easiest, first line defense against bacteria and viruses. Ensure you and your children wash their hands after using the washroom, after returning home from school/work/daycare/play dates, and before meals. You don’t need to splurge on anti-bacterial soaps – good ol’ fashioned soap and water work great. In fact, studies have shown long term use of anti-bacterial soaps can contribute to antibiotic resistance, and contain harmful chemicals. As a rule of thumb, scrub those hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (or sing the alphabet song).
- Probiotics help replenish our bodies with “good bacteria” that is used to keep our digestive system healthy. Up to 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, therefore, it is important to keep these cells working well. Although probiotics can be found in fermented foods and yogurt, higher doses are required to treat immune & digestive conditions. A child-friendly powdered form can be sprinkled on cereal, mixed in with water or blended with a smoothie. If you have capsules, they can be opened up and put on food as well – just be sure the food is not hot, as this can kill the good bugs you are trying to get in your system!
- Choosing healthy foods can make a big impact on your immune system. Colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, including the vitamins and minerals our body uses more when battling the cold/flu. Ensure your child is eating their colours! If you have a picky eater, try sneaking the veggies into a smoothie or a blended soup. Staying hydrated is also very important, and avoid sugary drinks and foods.
For those parents who happen to catch what their little ones bring home, the principles above also apply. We can also include other treatment options:
- Supplements containing therapeutic doses specifically of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Zinc target your immune cells and help fight invading pathogens. Look for good quality products, that don’t contain fillers, or ingredients such as dairy, sugar, and wheat.
- Intravenous (IV) Therapy delivers vitamins and minerals in their active form directly into your bloodstream, avoiding any issues with digestion or absorption that may arise with oral supplementation. At Port Moody Health, we can customize your IV to suit your needs.
- Botanical Tinctures with specific immune boosting herbs like astragalus, echinachea, licorice, and ginseng work great to kick that cold. Talk to your Naturopathic Physician to discuss which herbal formula will work best for you.
- A natural Immune Boosting Injection given at the beginning and end of the flu season works well to keep your immune system ready throughout the year. As it is a homeopathic preparation, it is safe for all ages, and can be taken orally if you’re not a fan of needles.
There are many options to keep children and parents healthy and flu-free this season. Call Port Moody Health to discuss your options with your Naturopathic Physician.Leave a reply