Back to School

Back to School Where Germs Rule
Back to School Where Germs Rule

Now that the school holidays are finished and the kids are back at school, you may find yourself thinking, ‘Why do children at school and child care get sick so often and what can I do to prepare them for the year ahead?’ Studies have found that children placed in child care are far more susceptible to cold and flu than those predominantly in a home environment1. This is due to the increased exposure to potentially infectious germs. With so many cute but grubby little hands and snotty noses running around, playing together and sharing toys, it becomes apparent that child care is a virtual minefield of germs.

It’s not all bad news though. Studies have also found that attendance at child care in early childhood may be associated with a reduced risk of allergic disease as the child grows older.2 As comforting as it is to know that a child’s exposure to illness can ultimately be a good thing, no parent likes to see their child falling sick and suffering (let alone get sick themselves!). To allow your child the benefit of being exposed to lots of different bugs, without falling victim to every cold or flu that’s going around, Inner Health Immune Booster Kids should be a consideration on your list of back-to-school preparations.

Parents would all agree that there are few things worse than seeing your child unwell, however there are things you can do to reduce the chance of this from happening. Ensuring they have a healthy diet along with some specific nutritional and probiotic support for their immune system can help to reduce the incidence of symptoms occurring in the first place.

Signs of Sickness in Your Child
Signs of Sickness in Your Child

Parents generally know best when it comes to the wellbeing of their children, however it can sometimes be difficult for very young children to communicate how they are feeling. If you find yourself doubting your parental instincts and wondering if your child is coming down with the latest cold or flu, here is a quick checklist of common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
  • Fever with a temperature above 37.8° Celsius
  • Sore, itchy throat
  • Nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced appetite
  • Crying, irritable, not sleeping well
Probiotics to Reduce the Incidence of Cold and Flu Symptoms
Probiotics to Reduce the Incidence of Cold and Flu Symptoms

A clinical trial on an exclusive combination of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®) and Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07), showed the ability of these strains to reduce the frequency and duration of cold and flu symptoms, as well as the number of days absent from child care or school.3 The clinical trial lasted six months, where these two probiotic strains were given to 79 healthy children, a placebo (‘dummy’ pill) was given to 92 children for comparison. The findings were that taking the probiotic formula lowered the risk of experiencing cold or flu symptoms by up to 66%. Interestingly, children in the probiotic group required less antibiotics. Those children who had a cold or flu only suffered symptoms for half as long as the children taking the placebo.

Inner Health Immune Booster Kids provides the same strain and dose of probiotic bacteria as used in this trial, where results illustrated the ability of the probiotics to reduce cold and flu symptoms and the number of days absent from child care or school. With such promising results from a scientific study, you can prepare your children for the immune challenges of a brand new year by giving them Inner Health Immune Booster Kids

Super Lunchbox to Combat Cold and Flu
Super Lunchbox to Combat Cold and Flu

Having a healthy diet is crucial to maintaining a robust immune system, as well as laying the foundation for general health and wellbeing. Everyone’s immune system relies on a few specific nutrients (Table One) to help it ward off the dreaded lurgy, so ensure your child’s lunchbox includes some of the items listed below each day.

The below suggestions may be simple but they go a long way to maintaining strong immunity. However, if you find it difficult getting good amounts of zinc and vitamin C into your child’s diet, remember Ethical Nutrients Zinc Fix or Extra C Zingles are a convenient way to offer these essential immune supporting nutrients in a supplement form. A healthy immune system is the key to keeping your child well, so get creative with these super lunchbox ideas and give them a fighting chance against potential infections each and every day of the year.

*References available on request

Table One: Nutrients and Their Food Sources for a Healthy Immune System.
Nutrient How it Helps Food Source How to Make it Lunchbox Friendly
Zinc Zinc is essential for the healthy development and activity of immune cells. Those with a deficiency in zinc are at a much higher risk of developing an infection.
  • Cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
  • Hummus
  • Animal protein, eg. red meat, poultry, seafood.
  • Nuts and seeds combine wonderfully in a trail mix, which is always a favourite for kids.
  • Hummus is a popular dip that goes well with crunchy carrot, capsicum and celery sticks.
  • Animal protein is easily added to a sandwich.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for a well-functioning immune system. It is involved in the development, activity and maturation of immune cells.
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Capsicum
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruit can easily be added to a lunch box, either whole or chopped and mixed into a fruit salad.
  • Capsicum and green leafy vegetables may seem a little tricky to add to a lunch box, but adding them to a sandwich with chicken or ham goes down well with kids.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.