Depending on your child’s age, they need anywhere between 8 and 10 hours or more of sleep every night to maintain healthy growth and development. Getting enough sleep also contributes to a strong immune system, thus helping them fight off illnesses during the back-to-school season. It may be difficult to get back into the school year bedtime schedule, but consistency is key, and doing so is instrumental in setting them up for a successful and healthy term.
Another great way to boost the immune system is to eat a balanced diet, consisting of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and lots of water. Food education is a big part of making sure school-age kids get the proper nutrition because you can’t always control what they’re eating. Thus, they must learn to make good choices when away from home—initiate conversations about healthy foods and dietary balance with your family. Enlist your kids in assisting with food prep! It’s a great way to teach them agency over their health.
Physical exercise and conditioning play a role as well, adding to overall reserve which renders anyone and everyone better positioned to protect against and fight off any infection. Encourage your kids to join a fall sport or other active extracurricular and remind them to take advantage of their physical education class—they will likely miss the free daily workout as adults. Of course, moderation is important here, as overwhelming the body physically could actually lead to lowered immune protection.