When your child starts a new school year, a parent can't help but worry about what bacteria and viruses they'll be exposed to. No one likes to see their child ill and when they miss school, they can fall behind.
While there is no way to 100 percent prevent your child from getting sick, here are some ways to boost their defenses against five of the most common school health issues.
1. The Common Cold
Zinc is an essential mineral the body needs on a daily basis to support several functions, including the actions of the immune system, the body's natural defense system against illness. Make sure your child's multivitamin contains zinc -- school-age children need between 5 mg and 11 mg, depending on their gender and age. If your child develops a cold, taking zinc may help them recover more quickly, but be sure to check with their pediatrician before giving them an additional dosage beyond the daily recommendation.
2. The Flu
Vitamins C and D are needed to keep the immune system on guard against viruses like the flu. These vitamins should also be included in their multivitamin, but you can also add a vitamin C supplement or a fish oil with vitamin D product to their daily supplement regimen for additional support. Another way to get vitamin D is through daily sun exposure, so make sure your child gets outside in the fresh air for a while each day instead of sitting in front of a screen.
3. Pink Eye
Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent many illnesses, including pink eye. If your child comes in contact with bacteria or a virus and then rubs their eye, they can get sick, so reinforce their skills when it comes to cleaning their hands after sharing toys or school supplies and eating. If they're sick with a common cold, they should especially avoid rubbing their eyes.
A probiotic provides good bacteria to live in the gut. These bacteria support the immune system as well as the digestive system and can help keep them regular. If they develop diarrhea, a probiotic can help them recover in addition to fluids and foods with more fiber to remedy loose stools. Have them take their probiotic daily along with their multivitamin for best results.
5. Strep Throat
Sharing is a valuable skill for kids to learn, but when it comes to their food and drink, this is one of the most common ways kids get strep throat. Sharing straws, utensils and water bottles is a big no-no and avoiding it could keep them from catching something.
Try these products and strategies to ensure your child doesn't miss too much time this year home sick from school. Share your tips with us on Facebook and Twitter. Stay well!
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