There is more to do than just clothes and supply shopping for back to school preparation.

I cannot believe that school will be starting in just a few short weeks. I know families are working on their back to school shopping lists for the classroom, for clothes, and maybe even a new backpack for their child. But I would ask that, as a family, you also work on your back to school health preparations. It is not uncommon that kids will get sick the first few weeks of school as they are getting freshly exposed to their classmates germs again; especially the younger kids. These illnesses sometimes transfer over to the parents as a result. So I hope with these ten tips that you will all have a healthy start to the school year:

  1. Avoid sugar. I know it is summertime and ice cream can be a nice treat to “beat the heat,” as it were. However, sugar will knock the immune system down for several hours to even half the day depending on how much sugar you eat. I would recommend avoiding sugar between now and one month after school starts. Fruit sugar is fine to eat as it does not affect the immune system the same way as refined sugar typically does.
  2. Bed times. I know defined bedtimes become more lax in the summer, but it would be wise to start transitioning the family to the school years routine now. These extra hours of sleep before midnight help to support the immune system, and help us all to be more rested in general.
  3. Supplements. Check with your healthcare provider as to what supplements you and your family members should be on to help with the immune system, energy, and even focus as the school year starts.
  4. Make sure you’re eating a wide range of colors. The more naturally colorful food in your diets the better. These nutrients give the body the building blocks it needs for health.
  5. Hand washing. Remind your younger children to sing the A, B, C song or Happy Birthday while they are washing their hands with soap. Also, teach your older kids to wash their hands before going to the bathroom, and especially after chemistry class as you have no idea what they might have touched.
  6. Laughter. Make sure you laugh at least once a day, a good belly laugh, as this will help to release endorphins to lower your stress levels. Stress will affect how well the immune system is functioning.
  7. Play outside to get a bit of sun. Sun helps us to naturally produce vitamin D. However, remember that sun is good, but burns are bad. Therefore I would recommend avoiding being outside from 11am-3pm when the sun is more intense.
  8. Water. This should go without saying, but please stay hydrated. Water helps to flush out your system of the undesirables.
  9. Exercise. This will help us all to destress as well as sleep better. Not to mention the help it provides to our energy level. Also, sweating helps us to detox a bit, and that increase in temperature will help to fight off colds and infections.
  10. Remember your wet socks. If you are starting to feel run down please do your wet socks at night.

I hope these ten tips help keep your family healthy as we head into the school year.

Image Credit: Thibault fr (Wikipeida) (CC 3.0 Unported)