It’s August, and that means it’s time to prepare for the coming school year. Unfortunately, with the excitement of a new school year also comes exposure to all kinds of new germs and viruses. If you’re looking to keep yourself and your family out of the doctor’s office this year, it could take some work. Here are a few ways you can boost your family’s immune system – in time for the school bell.
Load up on fruits and veggies
The end of summer and the start of fall happen to be some really great weeks for dining on in-season produce. And you’ll be doing your immune system a favor as well; vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C and carotenoids can help boost immunity. For the best benefit, give your kids five servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Summer is full of fun and excitement, but all fun and no sleep can leave you run down – and more prone to illness. Get kids into a good sleeping routine in the weeks before school starts. This won’t simply help bolster their immune systems, but will also make that first week of school less of a rude awakening (literally).
Stop the smoke
If someone in your home smokes, it’s time to quit. That secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, which are proven to kill certain cells within the body. Secondhand smoke increases kids’ risk of various diseases and infections, from bronchitis to asthma to ear infections.
Don’t beg for antibiotics
Antibiotics can be lifesaving, but if you use antibiotics too often, your body can become resistant to the antibiotics and, when a serious disease hits, may not respond to the treatment as well. Additionally, antibiotics are built to treat bacteria; most childhood illnesses are viral.
If you’ve got a baby in the house, you’ve already got a built-in immunity booster. Your baby might not be going to school, but with a developing immune system, he or she may be more susceptible to germs brought home by the older kids. Breast milk contains antibodies and white blood cells that help safeguard babies against disease.
Your turn: How is your family keeping healthy?