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The primary concern for many parents sending their kids back to school this month is how to keep them safe from the back to school bugs. Indeed, the first few weeks of school are when your child is highly likely to contract contagious things like the flu, lice, pinkeye and more. Desks, pencils, books, lunch boxes, drinking fountains, buses, chalk, locker rooms are all havens for germs. As you prepare to send your kids back to school, and as they settle into their new routine, keep these tips in mind to help them stay healthy all throughout the school year.

Keep the Diet in Check
Ensuring your child has a diet filled with fruit, vegetables and protein is essential. See to it that your child has a wholesome breakfast each day (Eggs with whole grain toast, fruit and yogurt, or whole grain unsweetened cereal with milk and berries are good options). Also, send them to school with healthy snacks such as fruits and veggies and a bottle of water. Skip the fruit juice and opt for the whole fruits instead. Take some time to talk with your pediatrician about the best foods for your growing child if you’re ever in doubt.

Get Enough Sleep
Adults and teens need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and children (up to age 12) need at least 10 hours of sleep. Children heal and grow while they’re asleep, so getting the right amount of zzz’s can help prevent infection, increase concentration and memory and help them grow healthily. Establish a sleep schedule that will allow your child to get the necessary amount of sleep and stick to it! Make sure the bedroom is dark, devices are turned off and an air filter is turned on.

Get Moving!
Incorporating sports and exercise into your children’s daily routine is a great way to keep them healthy while also keeping their weight in check. Take them for bike rides, walks or just a day in the park whenever possible. Also, encourage your kids to try after school activities that will keep their blood flowing and feet moving.

Aside from these tips, you can also add supplements to your child’s diet for added protection. Some OTC supplements that are great for your child include:

Multivitamins – One of the easiest ways to get antioxidants, B vitamins (including methylfolate), vitamin D, and minerals all in one is to take a multivitamin. Multivitamins offer a good balance of high-quality nutrients in a one-a-day dose and can be found in solid, liquid or gummy formats.

Omega 3 fats – Whether from a fish or algae source, there are many options for getting omega 3 fats in a supplement. Omega 3 supplements are good because our diets, most times, are not high in omega 3. Omega 3 fats help the nervous system with mood and focus, and they are anti-inflammatory as well.

Probiotics – These contain good bacteria for the digestive tract. The good bacteria (microbiota) living in our intestines have been shown to support healthy immune function, as well as mood and focus, plus they make essential nutrients for our bodies. These bacteria are damaged by stress, antibiotics, and other medications sometimes making supplements necessary.

Vitamin D – Many people lack vitamin D, and it’s one of the most important. Taking vitamin D can boost immune system function and strengthen bones. Be sure to take vitamin D with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K for healthy bones.
Triple Flu Defense – This is a homeopathic remedy to help your child’s body fight off cold and flu viruses. Each year, the formula is updated to specifically address the symptoms caused by the most recent cold and flu viruses.

So if you’ve still got some back to school shopping left to do, or you want to grab one or a few of the aforementioned supplements, run down to Walker’s Drug Store – the drug store that cares.