Along with the excitement of back-to-school is the awareness that our children will be exposed to bacteria and viruses from others, including respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu. Although it may be common for kids to get sick from contagious illnesses at school, there are some preventative measures that you can take such as promoting a healthy immune system and teaching proper hygiene.
In order to help boost your child’s immune system, research indicates there are some important steps which can help such as adequate sleep, reduced stress, a healthy diet, adequate physical activity, and proper hydration. Follow these important strategies for increased immunity:
- Ensure they get the recommended amount of sleep. You can help them achieve it by adjusting their school sleep schedules, enforcing an appropriate bedtime and providing a restful environment that’s conducive to sleep.
- Keep your child more stress-free. Open communication to see how they’re feeling and acknowledge and address any concerns. Although extracurricular activities can be fun, juggling schoolwork and vital free time can be challenging, so be sure not to take on too much or have unrealistic expectations.
- Although a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone, growing, active children need proper nutrition to stay healthy. Recent studies show that protein is required for effective immune responses and the vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables are needed to support immunity. Whole grains aid digestion and regulate inflammation, while probiotics from certain foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, and naturally pickles encourage the growth of good bacteria and help prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.
- Regular physical activity can not only help boost your child’s immune system but can support both their overall mental and physical health. In fact, the increased blood flow during exercise also increases the number of immune cells. Organized sports are not a requirement. Try active playground play, running, dancing, bicycling, or skipping rope.
- Drinking plenty of clean, fresh water and staying hydrated is vital for all your child’s bodily functions to operate at optimal levels and helps their body to naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that can cause illness.
- Teach them good hygiene. Handwashing with soap and water is simple, inexpensive and can dramatically reduce the number of those who become sick, especially young children. It is especially important after using the bathroom, when preparing or before eating food, and after sneezing, coughing, nose blowing.
Help your family stay healthier this school year by boosting their immunity and practicing frequent handwashing in clean running water.
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