With children back in school, taking the necessary measures to help ensure their immune system and overall wellbeing is supported year-round is something that may be top of mind for many parents. In addition to staying up to date with recommended childhood vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control also says regular well-child visits are an essential part of your little one’s overall wellness as it’s an opportunity to track growth and developmental milestones and discuss any concerns about your child’s health. It’s also a great opportunity to ask your child’s doctor for tips on how to help support their immune system.
It’s natural for parents to want to do what they can to help support their child’s health and having a clear game plan with simple yet effective steps can make all the difference. “When children are back in school, it can be difficult for parents to keep an eye on them as much as they did during the summer, especially when it comes to enforcing healthy habits,” says Dr. Kelly Fradin, a pediatrician based in New York City. “However, as children get back to class, whether in person or virtually, it’s important that we do our best to ensure they don’t miss a day of school. We all know even one day out can leave our little ones feeling as if they are falling behind.” Below, read some of the top ways you can help support your child’s immune system so they can find success through the year and beyond!
“It’s no secret that sleep plays an integral role in making sure our bodies are functioning properly, especially when it comes to the immune system,” says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician based in Overland Park, Kansas. “To help ensure kids are getting enough of it, try giving them a clear bedtime and sticking to it. Although kids may not be ready to sleep at exactly the same time every night, getting them settled and to their own rooms at a routine bedtime will help them wind down and relax without electronics or other stimulation.”
When kids don’t get enough sleep, it limits their body’s ability to produce proteins called cytokines that help fight infection and reduce inflammation. So, next time your child asks to stay up past their bedtime, remember that even a few extra minutes could help! The Cleveland Clinic offers a helpful sleep guide, which parents can follow based on their child’s age. For added effect, consider having your child sleep with a humidifier on as “humidified air can help prevent dry coughing while asleep, which can disrupt or wake little ones in slumber, ideally between 45-50 percent humidity is good for a room,” according to Dr. Fradin.
Dr. Burgert also suggests that parents make sure their children receive quality nutrition by providing balanced meals to help support their children’s immune systems. “It takes a bit of planning but feeding your child fresh or frozen fruits, veggies, protein-based snacks, and limiting sugary drinks can make a big difference,” she says. The CDC also suggests being a good nutritional role model for your family as your child will be eating more of the foods you eat once they are 12 months or older. Eating a nourishing diet yourself sets a good example for your children and can help adults with sleep, increase energy, and may prevent diseases later in life.
Find Support With Yummy Supplements
In tandem with a nourishing diet, for some families, dietary supplements are a great option to help provide nutritional support. It is critical that parents take an active role in what their kids eat and provide them with meals that feature nutrient-packed fruits, veggies, proteins, and fibers. In addition to filling their plates with nutrient-dense foods, there are dietary supplements available just for kids, such as the new Emergen-C Kidz Gummies. Packed with high-potency vitamin C, plus vitamin D for immune support* and B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, these chewy supplements are an easy way for parents to help support kids’ immune systems.* Plus, they taste great!
If looking for a product that can help you support your immune system year-round, my suggestion is to go with the Emergen-C Immune+ Gummies, which contain vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for immune support.* The Daily Immune Support products come in a variety of great-tasting, fruit flavors.
Build Good Hygiene
Never underestimate the power of good handwashing. According to the CDC, handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections. Getting your child to practice good hygiene may take time (especially if they teeter toward the younger side), but giving them reminders to wash their hands frequently and encouraging a regular bath time routine will help ensure it becomes a habit.
Practice Stress Relief
We all know that school can be stressful and that there is a strong link between stress and the immune system. To help reduce stress, teach your kids techniques such as meditation, deep breaths, or exercise, to implement into their daily routines or as needed. This can also be helpful for adults as the school season can be stressful for parents too. “Don’t underestimate the value of a few minutes,” says Dr. Burgert. “Even on our busiest days, we can find five minutes for mindfulness, meditation, or a walk around the block. Small decisions are what help us feel our best and stay well—not necessarily long workouts or extensive meal planning. And, if things are getting difficult to handle, reach out to a primary care doctor for help and advice. It’s okay to need help with both physical and mental wellness. Parents deserve this support.”
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
This post was created by SheKnows for Emergen-C.