Your kids are headed back to school. But instead of being excited, are you panicked about how to keep them safe and healthy in the time of a raging pandemic?
Keep your kids healthy long into the school year with these pro tips!
1 – Bring your own water bottle to school and do not share it!
We’ve taught our children to share from the time they were old enough to hand over their favorite toy on the playground. But in this case, they need to forget everything we’ve ever said and instead say, “No way!” when one of their friends tries to sip on their Dora the Explorer water bottle.
Water naturally keeps our system detoxifying out the bacteria and viruses we are taking in, as well as moving germ-fighting cells around our body, so it’s important your little cherub drinks lots of water throughout the day. Juice, sports drinks, and soda are loaded with bacteria-boosting sugar, so emphasize the need for water instead.
Pro Parenting Tip #1: Jazz up water with a squirt of immune-building Longevity Soda® concentrate – it adds delicious flavor plus valuable immune system superfoods.
2 – Get enough sleep
Sleep is an often under-recognized way to keep the immune system strong. Sleeping allows our body to restore and rebuild itself, making it essential for maintaining immune system strength. Without enough sleep, the immune system gets suppressed and all the bacteria and viruses get stronger – causing you to get sick.
Reminder: Younger children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night, while teens need about 9.
Pro Parenting Tip #2: Turn off the electronics before bed! Limit the hour before bed to quiet activities like reading, writing, or meditating to help your offspring sink into sleep faster when the lights go out. The blue light from computers, phones, and other electronic devices interferes with hormone production, making it more challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep. Take it one step further and turn off your wifi router at night for maximum cellular rest and recovery.
3 – Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating a balanced diet, including during the day at school, goes a long way toward keeping your youngsters healthy. Veggies, fruits, proteins, probiotic foods, and good quality fats are necessary for not only the immune system but for nervous system regulation and brain function, as well. This means being able to focus longer and recall information more quickly.
Starting the day with a balanced breakfast, while saying no to junk food, soda, and other highly processed foods throughout the day will keep your kids energized and functioning at their best.
Pro Parenting Tip #3: Avoid white sugar at all costs. Sugar, along with other inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and soy, all weaken your child’s immune system. Strawberries and oranges have high levels of vitamin C, so they make excellent snack options, while still giving your kiddo something sweet to eat.
4 – Stress Less
Kids today are under increasingly high stress to perform well at school while maintaining numerous after-school activities. Our kids are chronically over-scheduled and feeling the pressure to keep up their grades, sports, volunteer activities, and social lives.
Stress causes higher levels of stress hormones in the blood. This depresses the immune system by lowering the number of white blood cells which defend against invaders and signal other cells to perform their immune-fighting duties. When lymphocytes go down, our kids are at increased risk of sickness and infection.
Pro Parenting Tip #4: Keep checking in with your kids to see how they are balancing all that they have going on. Ask questions and really listen to their answers. You may have to be the “uncool” parent sometimes that says no to some activities in order to make sure they are getting some downtime and enough rest.
5 – Move your Body
Scheduling in daily exercise, even for just 15 minutes, is a fun way to fight off illness. Getting your heart rate up causes white blood cells and antibodies to pump through your system faster, fending off invaders earlier. When your breathing increases, it helps to flush out all your airways of bacteria/viruses that might be hanging out. Raising your body temperature makes a less hospitable environment for the undesirables to grow – kind of like when you have a fever.
One more perk? It slows down the release of stress hormones, and as we’ve already mentioned, stress is kryptonite to your superhero immune system.
Pro Parenting Tip #5: Parents need exercise too, so make it a family affair! Grab everyone’s bike after school and go for a ride together. Take an evening stroll and use the time to talk about everyone’s day (and check in on everyone’s stress level). Or just crank up the tunes and have a dance party in the living room. Any opportunity to move around while bonding with your kids is great.
6 – Sneeze into your Elbow
Cover that thing! Sharing is caring except when it comes to sneezing (and water bottles as we mentioned in Tip 1!) When you sneeze and don’t cover your mouth and nose it sprays 200 FEET. That’s a LOT of long distance germ-sharing.
The best method for containment is to completely cover your nose and mouth with your elbow if you don’t have a tissue available. And then obviously don’t go and rub your elbow into your friend Suzy’s face because germs can live for up to 24-hours on a surface.
7 – Wash your hands
We’ve heard it a billion times, but if your kids wash their hands before they eat and after they use the bathroom, they are going to seriously minimize their germ exposure. (Scrub with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.)
It’s also just as important to keep their hands off their faces during the day. When Johnny misses his elbow and sneezes all over the desk everyone is much less likely to get sick without rubbing germs directly into their nose and mouth.
School classrooms usually offer bottles of antibacterial gel to use in between hand washings, but it’s best to avoid these whenever possible. They kill ALL the bacteria on the hands, including the helpful bacteria that maintain your skin and immune system strength.
Pro Parenting Tip #7: Make this simple hand sanitizer for your kids to use at school instead of antibacterial gel:D.I.Y. Back to School Hand Sanitizer
4 ounces Witch Hazel
2 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
Antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal = Geranium, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Clove.
Antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antimicrobial = Rosemary.
Antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic = Peppermint.
8 – Start boosting the immune system NOW
Vitamin D is important for building the long-term strength of the immune system, especially as we head into the fall and winter months when the kids are indoors more. Elderberry, zinc, and vitamin C can be easy and delicious add-ins for short-term bursts of immune-boosting goodness.
Keeping your kiddos on a probiotic supplement can also go a long way towards keeping them healthy. 80% of the immune system is found in the intestines – so it’s important to keep the thousands of friendly bacteria healthy so they can do their job. These friendly bacteria help to clear out toxins, push out bacteria and viruses, and also help digest your food for maximum nutrient absorption.
Pro Parenting Tip #8: Chaga mushroom and Reishi mushroom are powerful medicinal mushrooms to take year-round to support the immune system. Get them both for a discount in our Immunity Bundle! American Ginseng is another essential immune system booster and is simple to take a dropperful of this tangy tincture under the tongue daily!