I have a love/ hate relationship with ‘Back-to-School’ time. I truly miss my children when they return to school; summer always seems far too short, and no matter how much fun family time we pack in, it’s never enough. On the other hand, I’m happy to be able to prioritize my business again, which is so much easier when the kids are out of the house most of the day!
That is, until the inevitable happens. The phone rings…“Dr. Heisel, this is your daughter’s school. She _______” fill in the blank: is running a fever, throwing up, or, perhaps worst of all, has head lice! There is nothing worse than having to pick your little up from school because they are under the weather, or the breeding ground for creepy crawlies.
But what if I told you that these phone calls are not at all inevitable? In fact, most common childhood illnesses – head colds, stomach viruses, the flu, and yes, even head lice – can be almost wholly avoided! No, I’m not suggesting you pull your kids from public school and homeschool them, because there are much less time consuming solutions! Here are my Top 7 Back-to-School wellness tips:
Keep Them Moving
Exercise is an important yet underestimated aspect of good health, and not just in terms of weight. Not only does regular exercise strengthen the lungs, heart, and bones, but it can also reduce the stress which quietly wreaks havoc on our children’s immune systems. Don’t be tempted to let them become couch potatoes when school is back in session! Send them outside whenever possible, and when outside is not an option try roller skating, indoor rock climbing, or getting them involved in karate, gymnastics, or yoga!
Keep Them Clean
It’s no secret that the invention of indoor plumbing and improvements in personal hygiene had a huge impact on the decrease in communicable diseases. The simple act of washing our hands before eating and after being outside can make a noticeable difference in how many illnesses we experience. Remind your littles to wash their hands – often! And when they can’t get to running water, in lieu of commercial hand sanitizers that kill off good bacteria and introduce hormone disrupting chemicals, make your own gentle hand cleanser using only a few simple ingredients!
It’s easy to let kids join the lunch line at school, but I beg you to think twice about making that an everyday occurrence. The processed foods served in many school lunchrooms, or worse – the packaged convenience foods marketed to kids AND their parents – are not nutritionally worth the time they will save you. Processed foods are loaded with preservatives and often have more grams of sugar hidden in one serving than any person should consume all week! I suggest getting a good thermos to pack leftovers. Need something faster? Lean on whole foods – fresh fruits and vegetables are nature’s fast food, kid-friendly, and nutritious options – you can even spice it up a bit with a fun dip!
Your kidneys filter waste and excrete it when you use the loo, and they need ample amounts of water to do their job. Skip the sugary juice and soda and be sure your littles are drinking lots and lots of water. If they’re not a fan of plain water (many kids aren’t), try infusing it with fruit and spices.
Make Time for Rest
While keeping kids active is important, what’s more important is that we help them find balance between activity and rest. It’s tempting to go, go, go, over-scheduling our kids – sports, dance, music, clubs, Scouts, homework – but we must also be sure they have ample time to play & relax. Help your littles consistently get to bed at a good hour so they get plenty of sleep, and make sure that all screens and electronics are off at least one hour before bedtime.
Now that we’ve gone over healthy habits, what else can you do to help protect your littles when their classmates seem to be dropping like flies to illness? Vigorously support their immune systems with vitamins, probiotics, and (perhaps my favourite) essential oils. I love the dōTERRA a2z Chewable™ multivitamin and mineral supplement for kids paired with IQ Mega®. These two are an immune boosting powerhouse for our littles. Add in the gut protecting power of a good probiotic like PB Assist® Jr and the gentle yet highly effective dōTERRA OnGuard essential oil blend and their bodies will be ready for nearly anything!
Even the healthiest kids can end up with lice, and no amount of restful sleep or immune support is going to guard against these little suckers! If you are anything like me, just the thought of them already has you itching, so be sure to start this preventative measure now!
Now that you know many of my tricks for keeping your kids healthy this school year, be sure to share the wealth with all of your mom friends. Then maybe invite them all out for a mid-week lunch date! xo Dr. Marissa
But wait! What if it’s too late, and your little one is already down and out? Submit your info below for my free tips to take care of your littles if they’ve already fallen ill this school year!
Schoolhouse Health Natural Remedy Tip Sheet
No matter how hard we try, occasionally a germ or bug will slip through our defenses. Be prepared if your little one falls ill – download Dr. Marissa’s Natural Remedies sheet here!
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