Strengthening Your Immune System For Back To School Season!Lisa Kilgour, Nutritionist
September 5, 2017
I see it happen every September. I can tell the parents of school-aged children a mile away, it’s that obvious. And no, I don’t have psychic powers (yet ). What I’m seeing are red eyes, runny noses, and all of the tell-tale signs of a fall cold. That cold they’ve picked up from their children who just went back to school.
The families that are most susceptible are the ones with kids in the first few years of school, especially those in kindergarten.
Their young and still developing immune systems are suddenly bombarded with all of the viruses and bacteria their classmates brought unknowingly into school. Their immune systems are getting an education too!
For some kids they never outgrew this and they get sick every fall, year after year. And so does the rest of the family.
Stress and the immune system
It’s not just the bombardment of viruses and bacteria that affects the immune system, stress also plays a big role. Especially for those who get sick every school year.
When we’re under stress our immune system is depressed. This is because our body sees every stress as a physical attack, and so it takes energy away from the immune system and puts this energy into our muscles so we can run away.
If the stress continues for days or weeks, new viruses can take up residence. They hang out, multiply, and have a nice little virus “party” while the immune system is powerless.
When the stress is over and we relax, our immune system goes back to normal. It finds the virus “party”, and we get sick.
Ever wondered why you get sick on the first day of holidays? Or your child gets sick right after a big project is due? This is why, your immune system found a virus “party”.
There are a few easy things you can do to help your little ones stay healthy this school year. This applies to kids from daycare to university.
1. Get enough sleep –
Your child needs a good night sleep both to focus at school and to keep their immune system strong. For elementary school kids, this is 9 – 11 hours. Teens and college-aged kids can be very sleep deprived, so check in and see how much sleep they’re really getting. Their smart-phones might be keeping them up all night.
2. Cut out refined sugar, especially at the beginning of the year –
Refined sugar depresses the immune system for hours, and your child needs their immune system to be at its strongest at school. Watch for sugary cereals, cookies, or juice boxes with added sugar.
3. Add some healthy fats –
Healthy fats, like omega-3s, are important for a growing body and a growing immune system. They’re also serious brain food.
For the immune system, omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and they help calm the immune system down after a cold, flu, or injury.
Do you have picky kids? Try Perfect Omega, it’s emulsified, which makes it a creamy (not oily) texture and it tastes amazing. Seriously amazing! And it’s good for the whole family.
4. Have cold and flu fighters on hand –
I think we need to assume that your kid will get sick at some point this year, even if you take every precaution. There are just so many viruses out there!
Nip that cold and flu in the bud by having cold and flu fighters on hand. Give them to your child at the first sign of a cold coming on, and they might not come down with it at all!
Botanica’s Kids Cold and Flu Herbal Extract
With powerful Echinacea and elderberry, this herbal remedy gives your kid’s immune system a nice boost so it can fight off that new virus before it takes over.
Botanica’s Sore Throat Spray – A sore throat can be the beginning of something serious…like strep throat. This herbal spray combines 7 herbs with bee propolis, and can kill off many types of bacteria, including streptococcus.
Make this stressful time a year a little easier by keeping your kid’s immune system as healthy and strong as possible. What’s your favourite immune booster? Let us know on social with #BotanicaHealth #MindfulLiving