It’s that wonderful time of the year. Autumn. September. Beautiful changes in the leaves and the lovely smell and taste of pumpkin and apple spice. And back to school… oh no. The germs. The sickness. The change in the weather. Have you saved up your sick time for the winter? Still recovering from last year? If you are like me, back to school and autumn is filled with intense comfort and happiness, but also marks the coming of germs and illness. My family has struggled with schools, works, and daycares sharing back and forth different bacteria and viruses that seem to mutate and grow. So what can we do to help keep our children as healthy as possible (without further messing with their immune systems)?
1) Proper eating habits: I feel like I talk about this a lot but it’s so important. Especially with your children because you are teaching them habits that will last for a life time. Eating proper portions will help keep you healthy and boost your immune system. Less junk – more fruits and vegetables.
2) Healthy weight: This goes along with proper eating habits. It’s not about being skinny, but being healthy and making healthy choices to make sure your body is getting the appropriate nutrients it needs to have a healthy immune system.
3) Not smoking: Hopefully your children are not smoking because smoking is bad, mmm’kay. However, second hand smoke plays into this. I’m not here to lecture, but please, for your children’s health, if you choose to smoke, do not smoke around them. This can lower their immune systems and make them more susceptible to sinus and ear issues.
4) Physical activity: Am I hitting you enough over the head with the idea of making healthy choices leads to being healthy? You can take as much Echinacea and herbs as you want, but if you are eating poorly, smoking, overweight, and laying on the couch all day, you probably are not going to have the best immune system. This goes for your children as well! Sometimes it’s easier to just give our children what they want instead of guiding them to the right choice and holding firm. But the right decision is to limit poor habits. Get your children involved in an activity, whatever they want to do (within reason), so that they are interested and active. Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Sports – whatever. Same goes for you, pick up a Couch to 5k program or even taking a 10 minute walk a day can help you be more healthy.
5) Promote good personal habits: Wipe your nose, brush your teeth, wash your hands. Keep your kids home when there are sick to limit the exposure of the illness. These measures are important for their health AND everyone elses.
6) Make sure to take them to their annual exam with their physician and get the appropriate vaccinations that are needed.