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7 Tips For Healthy Kids this School Year

We spend so much time getting our kids ready to head back to school. We buy the supplies and the clothes, we do registrations and back to school events. We start getting our kids back into their school routine, but we often neglect preparing their immune systems for all the germs. School is like a giant petri dish. There are colds, strep, the flu, and hand, foot & mouth. There’s even mono and pink eye. It’s inevitable that our kids are going to pick up something…but, there is hope! You can have healthy kids this school year!

Here are 7 tips:

  1. Plenty of sleep

    Sleep is CRUCIAL for healthy kids. While you’re sleeping the immune system releases cytokines. These cytokines actually help you sleep, but more importantly they aid in healing the body when it is inflamed or if an infection is present. Other important antibodies are also decreased if lack of sleep is present. School-aged kids need a minimum of 10 hours of sleep typically. So, try to adjust your kids sleep schedules so they are getting the proper amount of sleep.

  2. Encourage proper handwashing

    Kids touch EVERYTHING. They also are constantly putting their fingers in their mouths or putting their fingers in their noses. Handwashing can help eliminate what they introduce to themselves AND what they leave on door handles, monkey bars and their desks.Teach them HOW to wash their hands properly and encourage it during bathroom breaks, before and after meals and whenever they blow their nose, and that should help keep them healthy. Keep in mind though that over-washing can actually be harmful. We need good bacteria and handwashing can be washing that away. Also, germs have to be introduced to the body in order for the body to know what it needs to protect itself from.

  3. Lots and lots of water

    Our bodies need water to properly function, and when it comes to immunity water plays an important role. Not only does water help flush toxins out of the body, it also helps oxygenate the blood (also important for removing toxins), helps keep bacteria and parasites from clinging to the mouth much like washing your hands does, and insures your body is producing the lymph that carries the white blood cells (the good guys fighting the bad) where they need to go. Make sure your kids have a water bottle to carry at school and that they are drinking water before and after. A good rule of thumb is to have your child drink an 8-ounce glass of water for every year old they are, up to age 8. So, if they are 6, they should be drinking six 8-ounce glasses of water, or 48oz . After age 8, use their weight to guide water intake. Have them drink their weight in ounces of water….so, if your child weighs 80lbs, have them drink 80oz of water. Keep in mind that other drinks such as milk and juice shouldn’t count towards this number. If your child struggles with drinking water, add some fruit or make it a game. Have a reward system for drinking their recommended number of glasses.

  4. Healthy foods 

    The more wholesome the diet, the better the immune system. Processed foods flood the body with toxins, whereas whole foods (anything that comes from a mother or the ground) naturally have vitamins and nutrients that the body uses to function. Lower their sugar intake (but don’t be afraid of fruits!) and increase their greens. Your kids don’t like greens? Try hiding them in a smoothie or use zucchini noodles or hide spinach in a casserole dish.

  5. Supplements 

    During the school year, our kiddos see a lot less sunlight. Sunlight provides Vitamin D which turns on important peptides that trigger an immune response when needed. Since our kiddos are inside much of the school year and it is darker longer, make sure they are getting the proper amount of Vitamin D. Also gut health is important for the immune system so make sure you have a good probiotic on board!

  6. De-stress

    School can be very stressful for our kids. The stress of learning and even social situations can result in lack of sleep, digestive issues, high blood pressure and increased heart rate. All of these things can cause the immune system to crash. Make sure you are keeping open communication with your kids about stress, encourage them to journal (if they aren’t writing yet, they can keep a picture journal!), use essential oils specific for helping with stress, encourage lots of play (outside if possible!) and less screen time.

  7. Get them adjusted! 

    Chiropractic plays an important role in the immune function. The spinal cord is the super highway from the brain to the rest of the body. When that super highway has any interference, the brain isn’t able to effectively communicate with the rest of the body. It can slow the immune response and even cause parts of the body to not function properly. Chiropractic is gentle on their little bodies and insures its functioning at its full potential!

Kids don’t need to spend a huge chunk of the school year feeling crummy! Germs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but when their bodies don’t know how to fight them, they can be overwhelming. Healthy kids tend to do better throughout the school year, because they miss less school…and its hard to focus if you’re not felling your best. Arm their body with a strong immune system so they can quickly and easily fight off the bad guys…and they will have a better, healthier school year!

What are some of your go-to tricks to keeping healthy kids?

 We are committed to educating and inspiring individuals and families to cultivate health and healing throughout their lives.

Dr. Erik and Dr. Patricia

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