Last school year was our very first as a public school family. I knew going into the year that the kids were probably going to be sick more often than they had previously been. Little did I know just HOW sick they would end up.
We basically lived at the doctor’s office the entire year. Countless episodes of strep throat, stomach viruses, colds, influenza, pneumonia and chronic ear infections occurred almost from the moment school started.
After racking up an enormous doctor and hospital bill I decided to refocus my efforts at keeping our children healthy
Before I go on, I do realize that our kids’ immune systems were a bit “behind the curve” because they had been exposed to fewer germs as homeschoolers. Another thing, I totally understand that getting sick is part of immunity building.
There are a few things we can do to help prevent illness as well as to help build the immune system. By building a strong immune system your child will recover from illness much more quickly if they happen to get sick.
I am going to start with the obvious…
Teach your kids proper hand washing technique and ask teachers to allow kids to wash frequently.
I know, I know we have heard this SO MANY TIMES, yet it still seems to be something that is lacking at school.
One of my children was recently given Clorox wipes to clean her hands at school instead of allowing her to wash with soap and water. While I was not super happy about that, it did offer me a chance to talk to her teacher and come up with a better solution.
Which leads me to the next point…
Provide teachers with an ample supply of hand sanitizer.
One of the issues with allowing kids to wash hands is the time constraint that teachers are under. I totally understand this. The solution we agreed upon was that I would provide hand sanitizer to the class as needed and she would make sure the kids were cleaning their hands regularly, particularly after coughs and sneezes. You can even stock up on Hand Sanitizer Canada reasonably easily, so it works out.
Most teachers are more than happy to allow kids to use sanitizer if you provide it. Now, this doesn’t totally replace good ‘ol soap and water washing but it is better than nothing…or Clorox wipes… If you’re really serious about the hygiene and cleanliness of the school your child/children go to (and so you should be!) then you might want to recommend various commercial cleaning services that will happily offer their services to the school to minimize dirt, germs and any nasty bacteria that is better off cleaned up! The other parents will probably applaud you for the thought and effort too!
Start giving your kids probiotics.
The majority of our human immune system is in our guts. Our modern diet is largely lacking these micro-organisms that help keep us healthy.
So we need to supplement our diets with them. Probiotics can be found in many forms, although my research has shown that the most effective probiotics and immune system supplements are the ones that need to be refrigerated to survive.
It just so happens that these types of probiotics tend to be more expensive than their shelf-stable counterparts. Although, if all you can afford is the shelf stable probiotics then use them. I am of the mind that some probiotics are better than none.
Focus on reducing sugar and adding more whole foods to your diet.
Sugar feeds bacteria and viruses in the gut causing the “bad” bacteria to overtake the “good.” Reducing sugar in your diet will starve the “bad” organisms and allow space for the “good” organisms to flourish.
In order for good organisms to grow strong and healthy, they need what is called prebiotics. Simply put, prebiotics is the fiber that the “good” organisms feed on in your gut. You can easily get prebiotics from foods you eat. Some examples are bananas, apples, carrots, and cabbage. Basically, any insoluble plant fiber.
Prebiotics are one reason to eat more whole foods, another reason is for the vitamins and minerals that they provide. We are one of the most overfed and undernourished countries in the world due to our modern diet.
Convenience has exceeded nutrition for far too long and our country is seeing the effects of it. This has led us to deficiencies in nutrients vital to our health. We can reverse this trend by eating food as close to its natural state as possible.
Proper vitamins and minerals provide our bodies with the strength it needs to fight infection and remain healthy
It’s all easier said than done.
Kids can be picky eaters and forget to do things like washing their hands sometimes. It is the nature of being a kid. My kids are no different.
I drive them crazy when they are home with my reminders to “wash.” There are nights where I make an amazing meal that I was certain they would love, only to be scraping it into the trash an hour later.
These things happen and are discouraging because we all want what is best for our kids and they just don’t “get it” yet.
But magic happens through perseverance. If you stay the course for the long haul, eventually the will begin to come around…or at least humor you.