How to beat common back to school bugs

How to beat common back to school bugs

Back to school season is in full swing and we bet you’re loving how much quieter your house is. Ahh… the bliss. Peace and quiet and so much kid-free time. When school broke up for the summer, we never thought we’d make it here. And yet, here we are. The first few weeks of September can feel like a mini holiday for us parents. Unfortunately, not so much for our kids. The sudden early mornings, busy days and homework can start to take their toll. Sniffles, skin problems and tummy bugs.  We’ve just got them back to school, we now don’t want them off sick!  Plus, the poor things really suffer so here are some top tips to boost their immune systems.

Encourage hand washing

This is a no-brainer and obvious to say, but this is the single most effective way to stop them getting bugs.  Because tummy bugs are passed by ingesting the bacteria or virus, it’s key to make sure none of the bugs make their way from your child’s hands to their mouths or eyes, where they can then find a way into the tummy. We know that, but our kids don’t. Kids are always in a hurry and hate washing their hands. Washing their hands at school after using the bathroom is essential as that’s where all the bugs are! For the home we love Professor Scrubbingtons Magically Foaming hand wash.   It makes hand washing fun so they’re more likely to do it.

Tea tree oil is nature’s antibacterial agent

If your child has already got a cold, try adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a hot bath. Inhaling its volatile oils will help fight bacteria and shift colds faster. Adding tea tree oil to your child’s shampoo is also a great way to help prevent head lice. The ultimate dreaded back to school horror.

Feed their immune systems

bare-biology-kids-health-how-to-beat-common-back-to-school-bugs-feed-their-immune-system-antioxidant-berriesGetting our kids to eat healthily is top of mind for all parents. But there are certain nutrients we should aim to include in their diets for ultimate winter wellness. Vitamin C is key for immunity so pack in bell peppers, kiwis, tomatoes, berries and (every kid’s favourite) lightly steamed broccoli. Probiotic yogurts are also a great breakfast or lunchbox option. The good bacteria are like a second arm to their immune system.

Reduce the sugar

Sugar really does suppress the immune system and also feeds bad bacteria in the guts.  Try limiting it to a treat at the weekend only and have a rule of no sugar Monday to Friday.  It’s tough, but it really does help!

Sleep is the best cure

bare-biology-kids-health-benefits-of-rest-and-sleep-to-beat-common-back-to-school-bugs

Sleep is the only time the body can regenerate and repair. Fighting infections is part of this process. In a proper sleep cycle, our bodies release an infection-fighting protein called cytokine. So it’s important our kids get a full night’s sleep. Most school-aged kids need around 10 hours a night to be fully rested and restored.  Don’t let them have any screens in their bedroom and factor in time for them to unwind before getting into bed. 

Calcium, vitamin D and magnesium, all found in kale and various dark green leafy vegetables can help encourage a good night’s sleep too. We understand that getting kids to eat their greens can be a chore. Try making kale crisps; your kids won’t realise they’re eating a vegetable. Lay the leaves on a baking tray. Lightly drizzle with some olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pop into the oven with 10 minutes on each side. And there you have a healthy, sleep enhancing snack.

Give some carefully chosen supplements to kids during winter

There are a few key supplements that should be in every kitchen cupboard during the winter months. 

Vitamin D

We just don’t get enough sunlight from October until about April for our bodies to make enough Vitamin D.  It’s actually a hormone and plays a vital role in healthy bodily functions.  It also influences nearly 3,000 of our 25,000 genes which plays a huge role in our immune response.  A good supplement we like is Terranova Green Child Vitamin D3 (400iu, 50 caps, RRP £7.50).

Omega 3

bare-biology-kids-health-benefits-of-omega-3-to-beat-common-back-to-school-bugs-super-hero-fish-oilOmega 3. The super nutrient vital for children’s health. Aside from boosting your kids’ much needed brainpower for school, one benefit of Omega 3 is it supports your immune system. It helps to keep inflammation at bay, which takes our immunity into overdrive and causes a host of health problems. Just one drop a day of Super Hero will provide them with enough Omega 3 to have a super-powered immune system. No matter what nasties are making the rounds at school.

Probiotics

Probiotics are so important, especially for warding off the dreaded tummy bugs.  They help populate our guts with friendly bacteria, which form a barrier against bacteria and viruses.  Think of it a bit like having an army ready and waiting.  We really like Optibac For Babies and Children (RRP £6.99 for 10 sachets, 1 sachet a day).

Vitamin C or a Multi-Vitamin

Always a good bet, especially as children don’t always eat a wide enough variety of foods.  We like Terranova's Green Child Living Multivitamin (RRP £17.25 for 100 caps).

If you’ve come across any other bug busting tips we’d love to hear from you. Please share your ideas with us and our community.

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