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Back to School, Back to School!

Kids are back in school full time and this is a great time to remind our children of some very key points when it comes to staying healthy!

New Year, new rules, but some staples of health still rule.

Today, for many families in Washington State, has been the first day back to school. I am a parent and a physician, so I know some of the thoughts that are crossing our minds. What can I do to keep my kiddo healthy? What can I do to minimize risk? What can I do to maximize what we already can do? I practice Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), so when I make a suggestion you will see the pubmed ID associated with the research if you so desire. Here are some of my favorite tips for back to school:

  1. Hand washing

- Find a song that your child loves and work with it. Typically I love "If You Are Happy and You Know It", but I change the "clap your hands" to "wash your hands". Singing the verse twice gets the recommended time amount for getting germs to keep at bay.

-Wash hands properly. This means cleaning the front, back , up to mid forearms, between the fingers and fingernails. I love Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap.

- Encourage children to wash hands after playing outside, after using the bathroom, and before meals.

2. Stay hydrated

- Our bodies are mainly water with some protein stuffed between ;). Children are notorious for not drinking enough water and this is key for optimal health. To stay well hydrated, it is recommonded that kids ages 1-3 years need approximately 4 cups of beverages per day, including water or milk. This increases for older kids to around 5 cups for 4-8 year olds, and 7-8 cups for older children.

3. Immune support

*Please consult a physician (that's me) before adding any supplements to a regimen*

- Some of the easiest ways to support a healthy immune system is by adding lots of colorful veggies and fruit to the diet for the anti-oxidant boost. Two of my favorite supplements to support immune systems are mushroom complexes and elderberry syrup.

- Mushrooms are magical! They are known as immune modulators- which means that can down play or increase the immune response based on what the body needs.

  • PMID: 25866155

  • PMID: 33171663

-Elderberry - this can be found way up in the Alpine regions. Now, I love a great alpine hike, but for when I just need it, Thrive Supplements keeps Sambucus syrup in stock! Elderberry has been shown to reduce viral replication.

  • PMID: 32362939

  • PMID: 11399518

Staying home from school:

-If your child or someone in your household is not feeling well, it is best to stay home and return to school when symptoms have resolved. If you have any questions, telehealth and same day acute appointments are always available at the Naturopathic Clinic of Issaquah!

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