Aug 21 2016
Are you getting your kids ready for back to school?
Take steps to ensure a smooth and healthy transition from the slow days of summer to the busy days of school.
It is always hard to say goodbye to summer. Long, lazy, warm summer days are such a gift and a wonderful time to slow the clock down and take a break. But, for students across the country, it is time to get ready to go back to school. As a parent, there are things you could be thinking about ahead of time to make the transition easier for your children and yourself…things to make sure the school year starts off right, with as little stress and anguish as possible, and with a solid foundation for a healthy year.*
Reset your internal time clock. If you and your kids have been sleeping late, start two weeks ahead of time easing into an earlier wake up schedule. It will help everyone avoid being over tired which can exacerbate the emotions that come with starting a new school year. When you are well rested, you can handle stress, worry and a new schedule much better. Additionally, sleep is a key element in keeping the immune system strong which will reduce your child’s chances of getting sick the first week of school. *
Organize menus now. Think ahead as to what you need for that first week of school, not only for you but also for your kids. This includes menu planning for breakfast, lunches and snacks. Think of foods that are healthy that can be prepared ahead of time and even frozen so that your children go to school with the foods that will keep their guts healthy and not succumb to more readily available processed and sugary foods that are high in fat, sodium and other chemicals that harm the microbiome and feed the unfriendly bacteria. School lunches are notoriously unhealthy and kids will grab the foods that are available. So instead of making junk food available, have lots of healthy options be the first thing they see when opening the refrigerator or pantry. If your child is eating healthy, their chances of staying healthy during the school year will be better. Buy a special water bottle so that your child can bring water with them to school to stay hydrated.*
Avoid antibiotics. Being around a school full of kids can expose your child to illness and they may end up sick. If they do, turn to rest and fluids first before immediately assuming they need antibiotics. Unless your child has a serious bacterial infection, an extended sinus infection, bacterial pneumonia or strep throat, it is a better to wait it out. It is so easy to want to find a quick fix, especially when school and missed classes is involved. In the long run, a natural approach to getting over a cold or flu is best, and antibiotics won’t help these illnesses anyway.1*
Avoid overuse of hand sanitizers. Remind your kids to wash their hands, and avoid overusing hand sanitizers. Research shows that overusing hand sanitizers, which wipes out all bacteria, including the good ones, is not doing us any good and adding to the development of superbugs. Encourage your child to wash his or her hands after using the restroom, before eating and periodically throughout the day with soap and water and avoid hand sanitizers especially when soap is an option.2*
Exercise. Only half of boys and one third of girls meet the exercise standard of one hour per day, and this can become even more difficult once school starts. Make sure your kids are playing outside when they get home not only to relieve stress, but also for their cardiovascular and physical health.1*
Listen to your children. Along with the start of school comes a new gamut of personalities. A bully on the playground or in the halls is a real and troubling issue for many school age kids and social media only exacerbates the problem and feelings of being left out. “…According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, close to half of all children will experience school bullying at some point while they are at primary or secondary school. At least 10 percent of children are bullied regularly…” Personality conflicts with teachers can also stress out a child. It is important to listen to your child when they talk and help them navigate these types of emotional stressors that can wear on their immune system, cause stomach upset and loss of sleep. 3*
Watch for depression. Many kids have anxiety and depression. Childhood depression can sometimes be hard to diagnose so pay attention to indicators and signs of depression and anxiety, and seek appropriate counseling or medical attention. It is not something to push aside. “…Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attentional, learning, conduct or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families…”4*
All of these things tie back to one important thing and that is a healthy gut. Keeping your child eating the right foods, getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding stress all will help keep their gut healthy. A child’s healthy gut will help with their mental state — as 90% of serotonin is created in the gut– and will keep their immune system strong, to avoid getting sick. Just as we know the importance of a healthy microbiome for us as adults, it’s just as important for our kids and teenagers. Their lives get very crazy and they don’t make their health a priority. Setting this foundation for them will help ensure they have a healthy start to their school year and throughout the year as well. Put your children on the same regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ as yourself. If they don’t like to swallow capsules, give them our tasty, berry flavored Body Biotics™ Children’s Chewables™. But it is imperative that children get the probiotics they need. Good luck this school year!5*