Gearing Your Child's Immune System Ready For Fall
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
I never fully understood just how impacted my child's immune system would be until I put them into preschool, where they were exposed to 20 other Petri dishes (ahem....children).
With my firstborn, I really didn't know that there were ways I could be supporting her immune system that would have prevented many of these illnesses, so I was forever playing catch up from one illness to the next, and as soon as she would recover, she would get sick again.
It was a never ending merry go round that I just wanted to get off of already!
Not only was it emotionally exhausting- having a child wake up at all hours of the night because she couldn't breathe, but financially exhausting as well with all the co-pays, lab tests, and sick days I still had to pay for.
Literally- we lost on average $200 plus dollars a month due to sickness.
Can anyone else relate?
Over time, I began learning about some gentle, but VERY effective ways to support our immune systems and before I knew it, I was no longer calling in sick. My daughter was no longer missing preschool that I paid for, and we were all sleeping consistently throughout the night.
Here are some simple solutions that will benefit your family in more ways than just beating the September germ-sharing season!
1. Get adequate vitamin D. Vitamin D has shown in numerous studies to provide protection over bugs such as influenza and multiple other viruses. When taken in adequate doses, it also helps to support healthy mood, and reduces inflammation! All you need is 1-2 drops under the tongue daily and voila! This dosage is appropriate for children over the age of 1. If under the age of 1, I would do 1 drop every other day.
2. Elderberry syrup. I know this has gotten a lot of attention recently, and for good reason! Elderberry syrup is considered an immune stimulant- meaning that it helps to release cytokines that go after the bad bugs in your system. I have noticed a huge improvement when we use this daily that we get sick less frequently, and when we do, illness is shortened pretty significantly!
3. Sleep. I can feel you pull away as you read that word... getting our kids into any kind of sleep routine can be SO HARD. I get it. Bedtime battles take a toll on all of us. Creating a healthy bedtime routine is challenging but SO WORTH IT. I will never forget when my Naturopath told us that our kids really should be in bed between 7:30 and 8pm in order to get adequate sleep. I had been doing this naturally because I had been watching their sleepy cues, but I know that's not the case for everyone! What I recommend is slowly moving bedtime back until you find a good fit for both you and your child. Sleep is IMPERATIVE for healthy immune function.
4. Reduce or eliminate sugar intake. Okay, now before you laugh at me, This has been one of the very best decisions I've ever made for my family. Sugar is a toxin to the body. It creates inflammation in the body and feeds viruses and bacteria. Even reducing sugar will help, and at a minimum, remove all sugar when you do get sick to help speed up recovery.
5. Thieves essential oil. Essential oils are powerful substances derived from plants that contain numerous therapeutic benefits. This was one of the very first oils I ever fell in love with because it smells amazing, but also because it worked SO QUICKLY! I could hardly believe it. For children older than 1 year, I dilute 10 drops to 10 ml of carrier oil such as olive, coconut or avocado. For infants under one, I do 3 drops per 10ml carrier oil in a roller bottle. Roll along their feet and spine daily to prevent illness, and every 2-3 hours if they come down with something.
To your wellness,
RN, BSN, MOM