It's officially fall! We even had to break out the hats and mittens for those chilly, early mornings! Fall is my favorite time of the year.
Although it's a beautiful time of the year, oftentimes people associate this time of year with "cold and flu season." Yes, it's true that typically more people to get sick in the fall and winter months. My question is, do you think there are more cold and flu bugs out this time of year? Or are there other common factors that happen this time of year that affect our body's ability to fight off the germs? We all know people who seem to get sick all the time or when they get sick, it lasts for weeks. We also know people who rarely seem to get sick. What's the difference? Generally speaking, we are all exposed to very similar germs yet some people get sick and others don't. Let's discuss some common factors that happen during "cold and flu season" that also decrease our immune function.
1. Proper nutrition
This one is huge! Start off with having a substantial breakfast which includes protein. This will help them stay full and energized for the busy school day. Ideas for easy, quick to prepare breakfasts include: hard boiled eggs, plain greek yogurt with fruit and granola, steel cut oatmeal with peanut butter and banana, or peanut butter and fruit (apple or banana) toast.
Also, make sure they are having a healthy, balanced (don’t forget some veggies!) lunch and snack throughout the day!
2. Backpack safety
To help minimize the stresses of carrying a backpack every day, there are two good rules of thumb to follow: 1. Wear both straps of the back over the shoulders, and have the straps tight enough so the bottom of the backpack sits right above the child’s pelvis. 2. Make sure the weight of the backpack isn’t more than 10-15% of their body weight.
3. Proper Posture
Now that kids are sitting more, reading more, sitting at a computer more, and doing homework, it’s very easy for them to have develop forward head posture. This Carrying the head in this way over time puts a lot of stress on the neck and upper back. Discuss proper posture with your kids (shoulders back and head over your shoulders) and give friendly reminders too!
4. Good Sleep Routine
I know we’ve had a bit of a transition with the new school schedule of waking up earlier and in turn, going to bed earlier. Make sure you are firm and consistent with the best bed time that works for your kids. School aged kids are recommended to get 9-11 hours of sleep each day.
5. Healthy Spine and Nervous System
Last but not least, of course we are always promoting a healthy spine and nervous system through routine chiropractic care. Many of our parents comment that when their kids are well adjusted that they sleep better, have more regular digestion, and don’t get sick as often… now what family doesn’t want that!