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Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Children Healthy at School




With cooler weather coming in the northern hemisphere, and our children back at school after their summer vacations, we might find that they are picking up bugs.

But how can we best protect them going forward to ensure they stay as healthy as possible in the coming months?

We share our top ten tips

1.  Keeping your children active.  There are lots of reasons why this is so important.  Exercise benefits your child's circulation, supports their immune system and reduces the chances of developing those unwanted illnesses.  Activities should be intense enough to warm them up while their breathing should end up faster than usual.

2.  Practising good hand hygiene.  Children tend to just quickly rinse their hands under the faucet for a few seconds of water.  When they are in school, however, it becomes more important to do a good job of washing their hands with a solid twenty second scrub with soap and water.  Using a nail brush is a good thing too.  Encourage your children to avoid touching their faces unnecessarily for obvious reasons.  Once back at home, it can be a good idea to clean their backpacks and anything else that gets used regularly while in school.

3.  Ensuring they have good vitamin D levels.  Manufacturers of cereals and other processed foods will try to convince you that their product is rich in vitamin D.  However, food will never provide sufficient vitamin D to raise your children's levels sufficiently.  Making the most of the summer sunshine for at least twenty minutes daily while exposing as much bare skin as possible is very helpful.  The rest of the year it is important to supplement with good doses of vitamin D3.

4.  Vitamin C is good too.  Vitamin C is important too being an essential nutrient for your child’s health and development, helping with immunity, collagen production and wound healing. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for children varies by age and can be found in breastmilk, infant formula and wholefoods such as bell pepper, strawberries and papaya but extra vitamin C can be taken via supplements too. 

5.  Eating a balanced diet.   Remember that the five a day rule for fruit  and veggies applies to your children too, giving them extra vitamins and minerals and helping them to function better.  Whole fresh fruit and veggies are the best way to go rather than fruit juices and smoothies as too many of these can lead to tooth decay.  Along with the greens and fruits, mix with carbs, proteins and healthy fats for an all round balanced diet for your children.  At the same time, you can improve your child's gut health and bolster their immunity with probiotics such as yogurt and fermented dishes.

6.  Keeping your children well hydrated.  We all need to keep hydrated but children will often need to be reminded to keep drinking that all important glass of water, helping them to flush out toxins, lubricate the membranes that capture germs and ensuring cells operate efficiently.  Being dehydrated can also affect your child's mood and concentration both at school and at home.  Encourage them to carry around their own special water bottle as an added incentive.

7.  Getting outdoors and into nature.  Help to cut down on the amount of screen time by encouraging your children to get out into green spaces for exercise and plenty of imaginative play while exposing them to germs in a controlled way - helping to develop immunity,

8.  Setting a manageable sleeping routine.  If your children are not getting enough quality sleep, they will be less able to shrug off illnesses.  Lack of sleep will also affect their behavior and emotions.  Try to instil a consistent bedtime and sleep routine.  And when it comes to wake up time in the morning, it can be kinder and more calming to use natural light or music before that morning rush for another school day.


9.  Being patient if illness strikes.  Medical experts point out that it can be impossible to completely avoid your child becoming unwell from time to time.  However, a short-lived infection can actually be helpful in developing a strong immune system. Just make sure your child stays at home and recovers, allowing twenty four hours symptom free before coming into contact with friends.

10. Getting medical help when needed.  Obviously if your child has developed an infection and the symptoms become worse (even after rest and drinking plenty of liquids), then it is advisable to seek medical help to ensure a full recovery.



How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need Each Night? | Sleep.com

Benetti, C., et al. (2015). Therapeutic effects of vitamin D in asthma and allergy [Abstract].
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25985947. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).

Conti, P., & Kempuraj, D. (2016). Impact of vitamin D on mast cell activity, immunity and inflammation.
http://pubs.sciepub.com/jfnr/4/1/6/. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).

Translating the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into Public Policy Reform (nih.gov)