By: Dr. Lindsay Grieve, DC
It’s that time of year again when the nights get shorter, the weather gets cooler and kids are back in school. For me it was an extra-special time this year as my little love monster started his first few days of junior kindergarten, insert mom cry here. Truth be told it’s an exciting and terrifying moment all at the same time. For me, I rejoice as I get a bit more time to myself and at the same time get to watch my little boy grow and flourish in his new school.
The first few weeks are a crucial time for kids as they start new routines, meet new faces, are exposed to “new germs” and experience new stresses.
I’m sure other mom’s, like myself, are worried how their little ones will manage. Will they get the dreaded never ending snotty nose & nasty cough?!
Here are a few strategies and tips on how to insure your kids are armed with their best to thrive during this fall season:
1- Come in for a spinal checkup. Having a balanced spine and nervous system is essential for anyone who is looking to function at their best. If we think about all the things kids do in a day: run, jump, fall, stumble, it’s not hard to see how their little bodies get out of balance. A chiropractic adjustment is simply about bringing more balance and movement to the body, reducing stress & tension and allowing their nervous system to function with ease. That’s it. By removing interference from the nervous system it boosts the immune system and gives your little ones more energy to fight off whatever “bugs” they are exposed to. Studies show regular chiropractic adjustments boost the immune system by as much as 200%!
2-Minimize their sugar intake. Did you know the “average” kid consumes 16 teaspoons of sugar every day….that’s more sugar than eating 4 twinkie’s (we all remember twinkie’s, right?) Sugar can cause hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating and lower the immune system. Just one teaspoon of sugar can lower your immune system for up to 5 hours!! Of course, not all sugar is evil. Fruit and starchy vegetables contain naturally occurring sugars combined with important nutrients. You might be thinking, “my kid doesn’t eat a lot of sugar.”. But remember sugar is hidden in a lot of things: breakfast cereal, yogurt, granola bars, apple sauce, fruit snacks, bbq sauce, pasta sauce, gummy vitamins and juice.
3-Wash your hands with good old soap & water. It seems simple really but it’s a great way to minimize your family’s exposure to germs. It’s become a household rule for us, whenever we come back into the house, the first thing we do before anything else, is wash our hands. If we think about what kids do, they touch anything and everything, put their hands in their mouth, eyes, ears and noses and then touch anything and everything again. Teaching our kids the importance and easy habit of washing their hands can minimize the potential of spreading “germs” to you and your loved ones.
4-Supplement with a few key vitamins. I know there is a lot of information out there and sometimes it can be overwhelming on what to give our kids. I generally stick to 3 solid supplements and make an effort to be consistent. My top 3 recommendations for children are: Vitamin D, Probiotics & Omega 3’s. Vitamin D is a must for my son and I give it to him all year round, summer included! I give him 1200 IU’s a day. Vitamin D is an extremely powerful immune system booster. I also make a point to incorporate a quality probiotic into his routine. Generally I sprinkle some in his drink every other day but if he is fighting something or if your child has taken a course of antibiotics I would recommend giving it daily. Probiotics are extremely important for immune health and more and more research shows the health of your gut determines the health of your brain! Omega 3’s are another supplement that is necessary for optimal brain function. Omega 3’s aid in the development of the brain, eyes & nerves, and our mental & emotional well-being. To get my son a source of Omega 3’s I use hemp hearts or ground flax seed and sprinkle it into various things he eats: oatmeal, smoothies, baked goods etc
Since the school year started I incorporated a product by St Francis Herb Farm called Deep Immune for Kids. It is amazing for helping boost the immune system and can often ward off or minimize any general cold symptoms ( I have been giving him a dose of this 3 times a week to give him that extra boost).
Two products I keep on hand in my cupboard are:
-Elderberry Syrup….it’s amazing for anything respiratory.
-Stodal Honey Cough Syrup….it’s a homeopathic medicine that works great to sooth a cough or sore throat.
For more information, check out Dr. Lindsay Grieve’s website and blog: www.drlindsaygrieve.com