As a parent, you know how important it is to teach your kids about health and wellness. There are dozens of viruses and types of bacteria floating around schools, daycare centers and everywhere else your children go on a daily basis, making them highly susceptible to catching something and ending up bedridden.
Flu season is always a good time to teach your kids about immune system protection, but this year it's even more critical. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17,101 laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations associated with the influenza have been reported during the 2018 flu season – from October 2017 to February 2018 – so far. Unfortunately, the virus has claimed the lives of at least 37 children in the country, as reported by CNN, and this season is only expected to get worse before it comes to an end.
To ensure your children leave the house and return in the utmost health, you must encourage them to take care of their immunity and follow habits that build the body's defense mechanism and self-healing abilities. Here are a few effective ways to keep your kids' immune systems strong:
Teach Them How to Wash Their Hands Properly
Your children may find it silly that you want to go over handwashing tips with them, but it doesn't hurt to brush up on a helpful routine that can effectively prevent the spread of germs. Here is the simple five-step procedure recommended by the CDC:
- Use warm or cold running water to wet your hands. Turn off the faucet, then apply soap.
- Rub your hands together to lather up the soap, being conscious about cleaning between the fingers and under the nails.
- Scrub your hands for about 20 seconds.
- Turn the faucet back on and rinse under clean water.
- Use a clean towel or air dryer to dry hands.
Remind your children that they should be washing their hands before they eat, and after using the toilet, coughing, sneezing and blowing the nose, touching an animal or its waste and handling the garbage.
Get Them to Bed at a Normal Hour
You know that a good night's sleep is the key ingredient to a well-rested body, but do your kids know that? If the body doesn't have enough time to recuperate for the following day, it won't work as it should, and the immune system will eventually break down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids between the ages of 3 and 5 need 10 to 13 hours of sleep every night. School-aged children between 6 and 13 years old can get by with 9 to 11 hours, and teenagers between 14 and 17 need 8 to 10 hours every night. Encourage your kids to follow these recommendations based on their age brackets.
Reduce Stress Levels
Cortisol and adrenaline levels rise when feeling anxious or stressed out – this goes for both adults and children. When these chemicals are elevated for a long period of time, the immune system can weaken. Children often have busy schedules – between going to school or daycare, participating in extracurricular activities and hanging out with their friends – which can hinder their stress levels. Make sure your children understand the importance of setting aside time to rest, because their bodies need a break to recharge in order for their defense systems to work properly.
Think About Probiotics
You know that a daily multivitamin can provide your children with the essential nutrients they need to thrive, but have you ever considered probiotics? This healthy bacteria occurs naturally in the gut and offers protection in the digestive tract to block harmful bacteria from invading the body's defense system. However, sometimes, the body's naturally occurring probiotic count simply isn't enough.
We recommend supplementing with Hallelujah Diet Children's Probiotic. This product contains BLIS K12, a clinically proven probiotic strain that helps support ear, nose and throat immune health in children. In one study of 82 children ages 3-12 the results showed that BLIS K12 supplementation can minimize the reoccurrence of common childhood ear and throat complaints, by approximately 40% and 90%, respectively. This product also supports the health of the digestive tract with five strains of probiotics, also working to build a strong immune system. Our Children's Probiotic contains no lactose or gluten, and is a Non-GMO, plant-based product that comes in a delicious strawberry flavor. Now's a great time to consider supplementing your kids' diets with a beneficial probiotic product.
Encourage Them to Follow a Plant-Based Diet
Beyond the probiotics and other supplements, encouraging your children to follow a primarily raw, plant-based diet is the easiest way to build up their immune systems during the treachery that is flu season. The abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in the foods consumed on the Hallelujah Diet can support the body to enhance its self-healing abilities and protect against bacteria and viruses spreading throughout your children's most visited environments.
Every child has a sweet tooth, but sugar is known to suppress the immune system and could be the reason your kids get sick this winter. Encourage them to eat healthy alternatives instead of processed sweet treats, focusing on fresh fruits, nuts and seeds when it's time to snack.