While kids are in school, they're bombarded with a slew of germs from their peers. It's not only on the playground and at the lunch tables where the viruses and bacteria are shared among friends. Many schools now have shared work spaces and shared supplies, not to mention a constant shifting of classrooms, exposing them to a multitude of germs on a daily basis.
While no one can prevent illness all of the time, with a few good habits in place, you will be able to promote a healthy and strong immune system to help fight off a good portion of those pesky germs. Here's three ideas for how to increase immunity power in kids:
1. Clean hands
Since a large percentage of school age children children attend after-school care programs, it is always a good idea to have each of your children carry their own small container of hand sanitizer in their backpack so they have access to it as soon as they leave the classroom for the day.
Although many teachers now keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers in their classrooms, it is helpful for your child to have a habit in place of prompt hand sanitizing after a long day of exposure to other children. Once home, make sure everyone, adults included, heads straight to the sink to wash the day off with some good old fashion soap.
No need for those anti-bacterial soaps, as studies are finding they are causing more harm than good. Just warm water, mild soap, and a couple of rounds of the ABCs and the majority of germs able to catch a ride into your home will be washed right down the drain.
2. Eat your greens
So much of our health depends on eating a nutritious and balanced diet. This can be especially hard with children and/or picky eaters. “Eating the rainbow” and focusing on a plant-centered plate are simple ways to be sure to get enough fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Yet, if you have a child with sensory issues, food allergies, or who just refuses to eat anything green, there are many kid-friendly supplements on the market that can help your child get many of the recommended daily minerals and vitamins. From drink mixes to chewable vitamins to gummy treats, there is something for everyone.
3. Clean, but not with chemicals
It is, of course, of the utmost important to keep a clean home. Though past generations had come to believe the stronger the chemical the cleaner the home, we are finding that for numerous people, exposure to so many harsh chemicals can actually be a detriment to our immune system.
Some children suffer from what is widely referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms attributed to low-level chemical exposure, while others with respiratory illnesses like asthma or allergies or compromised immune systems, may become seriously ill from exposure to common household cleaners.
Whenever possible, use plant-based cleaners or natural cleaning products like white vinegar and baking soda.