Autumn is officially around the corner and by now, everyone is in full swing with school! Which means the germs are back to school too! Daycares are especially a big melting pot of germs.
Sick kiddos aren’t any fun but we need to remember that the exposure to germs, getting sick from them, and then getting well is what builds a strong immune system! And let’s face it, kids are notorious for touching anything and everything they can and then putting those hands in their mouth. Ugh! It’s estimated that children in daycare will get 6-12 colds per year. That’s pretty much every month or every other month! Furthermore, respiratory tract infections are very common in small children because that system is immature up until 6 years of age. I believe this is why we can see a higher rate of allergies or asthma in little ones.
The gut reaction for many parents is to intervene as much as possible when our children are sick. We try to force a fever down and suppress a cough or any other symptom they exhibit. The truth is that we should let the body do what it’s designed to as much as possible rather than interfere. I feel like an exception to this is if they can’t sleep. They need to sleep to heal, so we may need to take other measures. But let’s try some other tools first!
There are many herbs and whole food support that can be given to children to enhance the proper immune response. And some herbs will make the immune system more resilient if we continue to give them even when our children are feeling fine. And there are also some practical solutions you can do in your home!
Best practices for a healthy immune system:
1. Sleep! Make sure they are sleeping enough which is anywhere from 8-12
hours depending on their age.
2. Dramatically reduce sugar intake; especially watch for sodas and fruit juices
or energy drinks. Children should keep added sugar below 12g per day and
adults should be at 25 g per day or less. (Statistics show that children today
are consuming on average 110-180g of added sugar per day!) Give them a
piece of fruit if they want something sweet.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Get them in the habit of drinking green tea and or chamomile tea. It will
have multiple benefits for them! Use a small amount of local raw honey to
help with any allergies. (1 tsp = 4g sugar)
5. Fermented foods and fiber will keep their gut healthy and support the
immune system. (Think prebiotics!)
6. Echinacea purpurea and angustifolia for immune resiliency!
Tips for when they are sick:
1. Andrographis can help shorten the duration of an illness.
2. Thymus gland support like what is found in Congaplex is an excellent
3. Run a hot shower with peppermint oil in the bottom to create a steam and have them sit in the bathroom outside the shower; can help ease coughing.
4. Use organic teas for issues like sore throats, poor sleep and stomach
distress with a small amount of honey added to it if desired. Key is to steep
the tea for at least 20 minutes.
5. Their body ultimately needs time to heal. Getting sick isn’t a bad thing
necessarily…it only becomes bad if we fail to rise to the challenge. Remember,
the body wants to be well!
If you have any questions on how to boost your kid’s immune system, or support it while sick, including access to the suggested supplements, give our office a call or send an email so we can connect.