Back to School, Not Back to Sick

BackToSchool 300x200Germs run rampant through schools’ hallways, classrooms, bathrooms and cafeterias, making it a challenge to keep our children healthy during the school year.

Reports suggest that elementary-aged children contract up to a dozen cases of the flu every school year. Still, there are some behaviors you can instill in them to keep their immune systems at the front of the class when it comes to resisting illnesses.

 

  1. Wash Your Hands: This is the single most important thing you can teach your children when it comes to staying healthy. Although it’s unpleasant to think about, feces and mucus are the most common ways for germs to be passed on. When kids touch their eyes, nose and mouth, risk introducing germs to their body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that properly washing your hands  decreases diarrhea cases by 31% and colds by up to 21%. Hands should be rubbed vigorously with soap for 15 seconds (sing the “ABCs” song in your head).
  2. Encourage healthy eating habits: Having proper nutrition can boost immune systems, so make sure your child is selecting some healthy choices at home and in the cafeteria. At home, introduce new foods continually and avoid using “treat” food as a reward. The most important vitamins in building a strong immune system are:
    • Vitamin E: Critical in fighting off colds, Vitamin E is found in peanut butter, broccoli, almonds and vegetable oils.
    • Vitamin D: Enabling the body to build defenses to viruses, Vitamin D is located in juices, yogurt and milk.
    • Vitamin C: This antioxidant is in orange juice, kiwi, cantaloupe and bell peppers.
    • Carotenoids: Helps in the creation of cells that kill bacteria and are found in carrots, grapefruit and spinach.
  3. Early to bed: To encourage a healthy immune system, children require different amounts of sleep depending on their age. Youngsters ages 3-5 should get 11-13 hours of sleep each night, while children 6-13 need 9-11 hours and teenagers should get 8-10 hours. Getting enough sleep will also sharpen kids’ attention, memory and creativity in the classroom.

 

Last modified on Monday, 20 August 2018 16:41