Keeping Your Kids Healthy In And Out Of School
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We all know that the most affordable investment in health is preventative health. Preventive health care measures that you can do today at a lower cost to avoid unpleasant and expensive future health consequences. Especially with kids in school, parents want to do everything they can to keep their family healthy.
Tensions are rising between parents and school nurses over children showing up to school with coughs, colds, and symptoms of viral infections.
Levels of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, influenza, and other respiratory viruses are surging early this year. The flood is straining school nurses and creating tough decisions for parents, who worry about children missing instruction and balancing job demands with child care (1).
Here are 5 simple ways to keep your children healthy going back to school:
1. Vitamin C is crucial for children’s health and development. The body needs it to form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues. It also plays a part in keeping your child’s gums healthy and strengthens your child’s blood vessels, minimizing bruising from falls and scrapes.
— In addition, vitamin C helps cuts and wounds heal, boosts the immune system, and keeps infections at bay. It also helps the body absorb iron from food sources (1).
2. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphate levels in the body which are important for bone development and strength.
— But vitamin D’s role in promoting good health may go even further. Research has explored vitamin D’s role in boosting the body’s immune system. Recently, several studies have even looked at the role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of illness from COVID‑19 (2).
3. Zinc (along with vitamin C) can be really helpful in supporting immunity for kids as they transition back to the classroom environment.* Having the right amount of zinc is essential for supporting the immune system and supporting a balanced systemic response.*
— Zinc is required to maintain both the innate and adaptive immune system on a cellular level; a deficiency of zinc may cause these cells to form and activate incorrectly as well as disrupt intracellular communication, which is essential for mounting a coordinated immune system defense against a pathogen.
— Research also connects zinc as a critical factor in supporting immune system function as well as having antioxidant properties and supporting a healthy inflammation response.* One study showed that supplementing zinc improved treatment outcomes of pneumonia in children, stabilizing oxygen levels and body temperature more quickly than a placebo (3).
4. With the cold and flu season approaching, practitioners will start to see many children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) coming through their doors. In fact, children can be expected to contract as many as five to 10 colds in the space of a year, as they have not yet developed immunity to the vast number of viruses that cause the ailment. Flavonoids such as quercetin and essential nutrients including vitamin A are often overlooked when supporting children’s immune health.
— Quercetin, a potent flavonoid, has several actions that account for its beneficial effect on immune system health. As a mast cell and basophil stabilizer, quercetin inhibits histamine release providing an anti-allergic effect.
- Suzi/Shutterstock, Aleksandra. “How Sick Is Too Sick for School? RSV, Flu and Colds Strain Parents and School Nurses.”The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-sick-is-too-sick-for-school-rsv-flu-and-colds-strain-parents-and-school-nurses-11668999005.
- Vitamin C is crucial for children’s health and development. The body needs it to form and repair red blood cells, and Erin Heger. “Vitamin C for Kids and Toddlers: How Much They Need.”BabyCenter, https://www.babycenter.com/toddler/feeding/vitamin-c-in-your-childs-diet_10324695.
- Health, Children’s. “Vitamin D for Infants and Kids – Children’s Health.”Vitamin D for Infants and Kids – Children’s Health, Childrens Health, https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/what-parents-should-know-about-vitamin-d-and-kids.
- Wnorowski, Dr. Thomas. “Zinc for Kids: Should I Give My Kids Zinc?”BodyBio, BodyBio, 1 Nov. 2022, https://bodybio.com/blogs/blog/zinc-for-kids.
- “Managing Children’s Immunity.”FX Medicine, https://www.fxmedicine.com.au/blog-post/managing-childrens-immunity.