School-time flu season once all the kids are in close quarters, the summer cold that hits exhausted little bodies full of popsicles and fun - illness is never preferable, but it always seems to hit at the worst times. Who wants to miss the big field trip or stay home sniffling when their friends are out playing? And when a the mamas and papas have several children, you just know that one child sick means it will make the rounds. Thankfully, there are a few tools we can use for building kids’ immune systems so they can better avoid or fight sickness when exposed.
Attacks on Kids’ Immune SystemsFirst, let’s look at what we are building against. Lots of us think about attacks on the immune system as just germs and the actual exposure. That’s the threat of illness, but the attacks begin even before that.
Most kids have trouble enjoying a range of fresh foods, which means they aren’t getting the nutrients that will build their immune system. Inside of the gut, the deepest parts of the digestive tract, the body is prepared to pick up ingested germs and other sources of exposure to set the immune response into motion.
Without good foods to protect and strengthen the gut, it’s harder for that response to work well. Some foods - sugars and processed “foods” - can tax the body to the point of dropping the immune system and making you more susceptible to illness while it digests.
Exhaustion can play a part as well, as you might notice after a long trip or when older kids are working extra hard in school.
And of course, direct exposure to illness becomes an attack on kids’ immune systems, probably more than adults. They touch more things, get closer to people, and put more things into their mouth than adults do.
Cold & Flu Season
There are parts of the year that present more attacks on the immune system than others. Lots of factors play into the spread of a cold or flu, and we usually think of the “season” as during late fall and winter. During cold & flu season, take extra care to build kids’ immune systems and protect against as much exposure as possible.
The trick with kids is to make sure your immune system boosters are enjoyable. Nutrition can be sneaked in as pureed vegetables hidden in sauces, smoothies, or by including them in the kitchen to begin to enjoy the process of making and enjoying food. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables will be packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Limiting or avoiding sugary and processed foods - especially when you have other risks of exposure - can help protect your family during cold & flu season, too.
Immune System Boosters
Aside from eating good foods, getting good rest, and moving our bodies in healthy ways, specific herbal products can help build kids’ immune systems with enjoyable delivery methods.
Herbal medicine is proactive, not just for treating symptoms or diseases. That makes it perfectly suited for immune boosts. We offer a daily immune tincture for kids that features astragalus, an adaptogen that helps your body adapt under stress.
Immune Boosting Baths
An herbal bath is an excellent way to calm busy bodies while delivering nourishing herbs for immune support. The herbs treat the body through the skin as well as in the soothing steam that rises from it. Kids usually enjoy a warm bath anyway, so an herbal bath is one of my favorite remedies and preventatives for children. A soothing herb bath before bed can prevent illness and create a better routine for her. If your child is still having trouble resting after a bath and isn’t getting the sleep they need, try Children’s Tranquility.
Immune Boosting Herbal Medicine
When you know you’ve been exposed to something, bump up the immune support with stronger tinctures. Have your child take the immune boost tincture in their favorite juice or milk to avoid the dosing struggle that comes with other children’s medicine.
Sickness still happens. We can never prevent it completely. But by boosting our kids’ immune systems, we can give their bodies the tools they need to stay as healthy as possible. If you want to keep your children healthy all cough cold and flu season download our Herbs For Kids Online Ebook and Online Course!