The start of school has already happened in some parts, here (in Washington State) it's still a little ways off but one thing it almost always means is that suddenly our children are thrown into large germ incubators. Schools are a place for the spread of a lot of germs. So here are some things you can do to keep your kids a little higher on the resistance list -- realizing that every cold/flu/infection exercises their immune system and makes it stronger with a wider repertoire of things it can protect itself against. (This is the old theory: what doesn't kill you, cures you.)
Hands: The route the majority of germs take this time of year is: from nose/mouth to hand or surface to nose/mouth. Working with children to cough into the crook of their elbow (not their hands) helps keep germs from hands that go to surfaces that get picked up and rubbed on another's mouth, eyes, or nose. Hand washing helps break the route. Schools, fortunately, have figured this out and have started using anti-bacterial gels and encouraging hand-washing. Not that I think the chemical exposures and uses of anti-bacterials is a good idea, but the notion to break that germ route is a good one.
Vitamins; A routine daily dose of Vitamin C - at least 150 mg to 500 mg depending on the age (less for younger) helps improve cellular resistance to attack by bacteria, viruses, etc. More servings of fruits and vegetables will increase phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in BALANCED adequate levels that maintain strong immune forces.
Sleep: insuring kids get to bed and are getting at very minimum 8 hours of sleep. Putting a cold vaporizer in their rooms can help keep mucus membranes from drying out and opening paths for germs to invade.
Sugar: The entire school year is a good time to use the excuse of not being sick to eradicate simple sugars from as much of your child's diet as possible. Sucrose and high fructose corn syrup are the most prevalent types found in virtually all processed foods. DO NOT make the mistake of using artificial sweeteners for a substitute!!! ALL artificial sweeteners are basically poisonous. (I'll write another blog about that soon.) Sugars make the immune system drunk and loopy so they can't react to the attackers. The less sugar eaten, the healthier children will remain.
So those are a few tips that will reduce the number of days your kids will miss school. They'll be thrilled, won't they?
Having them cough into the crook of their elbow is a great idea. I've seen a few kids do that, but never made the connection to 'less germs.' Will try that.
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