It’s after Labor Day, and we all know what that means: Summer is winding down, and kids are heading back to school.
The one thing we all dread is sleepy kids as the long days take their toll on their minds and body. We are also anticipating the round of runny noses, sneezing and coughing we see the kids bring home from school.
It’s unavoidable to escape all of the germs, but it’s important to be prepared so that those germs don’t hit your kids, parents and teachers too hard. Pump up Immunity
One of the simplest ways to fight germs is to have your immune system prepared. Make sure your kids, and you, take a few key supplements and foods to help improve your immune system function. •Vitamin C: Time to stock up on oranges and other vitamin C packed fruits and veggies like pineapple and mango. Even cauliflower, broccoli and kale pack as much or more vitamin C as an orange.
•Echinacea: You don’t need Echinacea year-round, but back-to-school time is a great time to start taking some. A simple way to prepare your immune system is to take 500-1000mg per day for about two weeks. •Omega 3: Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for your overall health as well as your immune system. This is a great daily supplement. Our bodies do not produce omega 3 naturally, so we must consume it from our foods or supplements. Keep your supplies clean
As great as it is to encourage kids to share, we need to make sure that if kids are under the weather, they aren’t also sharing their cold. Make sure you wipe down backpacks, lunch pails and school supplies. Remind your kids not to share lip balms, earbuds or other personal items. Sleep and Stress Back to school can be a significant stress for parents and students. Make sure you take time each day to talk to your children about how school is going and if they are struggling in any area. Sleep is also crucial. Going from staying up late on summer nights to waking up early to catch the bus can wear down kids, and their immune systems. Studies recommend that school-aged kids get anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep per night. If your child needs to wake up at 6 a.m. to catch a school bus on time, they should be going to bed around 8 p.m. If that is not feasible, consider cutting back on after-school activates and getting into a good evening routine with your kids. Have a happy and healthy back-to-school season.
Emily Countryman is a board-certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness www.idealwellnesswa.com. She writes a monthly column for this newspaper.