In North and South Carolina, cold and flu season comes in waves. The months of November and December mark its beginning with back to school and cooler temperatures. I often see children get sick during these months leading parents to believe that they are early and getting it over with, only to see a second episode in January or February when flu season is at its worst. Although it lessens up in the spring, I still see bronchitis, strep throat and congestion which can create a very long 6 months for parents.
The reason that one person gets sick multiple times a year and another does not is related to the strength of their immune system. It seems as though most of the advice that is given on this topic includes frequent hand washing, avoiding sick people and getting a flu shot.
Because research suggests that the human immune system grows stronger each time it is tested, (similar to exercising to increase strength and endurance) my approach includes building a strong immune system so that when your child is exposed to germs, their immune system will adapt and fight it off. Because most viruses and bacterial infections are dormant for several days with no symptoms, but are still contagious, it is near impossible to avoid other sick children and germs. We know that some people are immunosuppressed: someone fighting a serious injury or illness, a newborn baby who hasn’t developed a strong immune system yet, and some elderly patients. Anyone that is immunocompromised should try to avoid other sick people and places as much as possible. This list was developed for those who do not have setbacks with their health.
For most people, getting sick means that their immune system lost the fight against viruses or bacteria, so I have developed this list that aids in boosting the immune system and cutting out things that compromise it.
Avoid Cold & Flu Season for your Child by Doing These 5 Things Now
Children need an average of 12 hours of sleep a day to rebuild their systems. Lack of sleep or altered sleeping patterns will decrease their body’s ability to repair itself. Begin creating (or maintaining) a current sleep schedule in during the autumn month to build a strong immune system. Our body’s have an internal sleep cycle that can be changed by sticking to a schedule. If your child has trouble going to sleep, make sure they are waking up at the same time each day to create a consistent circadian rhythm. (read more about circadian rhythm’s role in sleep here)
Some studies have tested garlic against popular antibiotics in labs to find that the garlic was more successful in controlling the spread of infections.
–Here are a few ways to cook garlic to maximize it’s health benefits–
- Crush garlic and let it sit for a few minutes before you eat or cook with it. Crushing it produces allicin which is the property needed to boost your immune system.
- Do not heat garlic in a microwave as this can denature its content.
- Supplement forms of garlic are not regulated, so depending on the brand they might be denatured depending on how the company prepared it.
- Use a lot of garlic — more than one clove per meal, if you can.
Zinc fights off invading viruses within cells. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans all contain substantial amounts of zinc as do seeds, nuts, eggs and whole grains.
4)Avoid Processed and Sugary Foods
-Clean up your child’s diet—More important to begin before flu season arrives because we know that sick germs are coming. (similar to “winter is coming ” if you watch game of thrones.)
-Cut back on white, processed and sugary foods and increase vegetables and lean protein. Low protein is also associated with a weakend immune system.
5)Supplement Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C
Vitamin D3 and C are powerful in boosting the immune system and supplementation should be considered during winter months. Most children should take around 400 units daily and around 15-25 mg of Vitamin C daily. Always consult your doctor before beginning any supplementation program.
If you have tried many of the above approaches but your chid always catches the bug thats going around, consider seeing a kids chiropractor in Charlotte. Chiropractic optimizes the human body’s ability to run itself. This includes improving the overall functionality of the immune system, digestive system and respiratory system to name a few.
If you live in or around Charlotte, Dr. Bob Mason has worked with Charlotte families since 2011 and specializes in wellness care for children. He has helped hundreds of parents transform their children’s health without medications. The most common conditions he treats include recurring ear infections, reflux, constipation, allergies, a suppressed immune system as well as the children who always catch the latest bug that is going around.
In addition to symptom based care, he also provides wellness/prevention services for children. At Active Life Chiropractic it is common to see parents maintain their child’s health at an early age and see them enter kindergarten having never been sick.
If you are looking for a Charlotte chiropractor, check out our reviews below and call 980.406.3862 to schedule an appointment to see if we can help your child.