Back to School: How to Improve Kids’ Immune Systems
The lazy days of summer have melted away as quickly as an ice cream cone in the August heat. Just like that, it's back to school!
It always amazes me how deeply engrained the pull of September is. Even in the years between finishing university and having kids, each fall, I craved a return to routine and structure (and new stationary!). Now that my son is school-aged, the back-to-school cycle is making its way into his life.
It can feel like a bit of an uphill battle to whip your family into a school routine. Returning to regular bedtimes, mealtimes and habits before the first day of school creates a much easier transition.
Another thing to consider is that your kids’ return to school exposes them to germs, and not just a few of them! In class, the sheer number of interactions between kids and germ-covered surfaces can be overwhelming for their immune system. As parents, there is a way to help foster an immune system that is strong enough to rise to the challenge, and it starts in the one place you might not expect – their tummies!
A whopping 80% of children’s immune activity happens in and around the gut – making the trillions of bacteria that live there your potential ally in the war against the sniffles.
Probiotics are known to help support the immune system in many ways. For example, the three unique strains found in Bio-Kidz each play a critical role. The Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285® is known as ‘the defender’ for its ability to ward off disease-causing germs and keep the gut a healthier place for good bacteria. Lactobacillus casei LBC80R® helps reinforce the gut’s wall of defense making it stronger so that bacteria can’t breach into disease-causing territory. Last but not least, Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2® helps repair the damage that bad bacteria can cause.
The recent Cochrane review on probiotics suggested that they may help prevent cold and flu in kids. While more studies are needed to confirm this finding, existing research suggests that probiotics help reduce incidence and duration of infections and limit absences from school. Another 2015 review confirmed this finding, adding that probiotics are safe for use in children.
Even before the school bell rings, the rich, sugary treats that are so typical of summer can have detrimental impacts on children’s gut bacteria. Studies have found that a high fat, high sugar diet can reduce the number of beneficial strains while encouraging the growth of more potentially harmful ones. That’s why probiotics, such as Bio-Kidz, are an important addition to your daily end-of-summer diet (and for the entire year too!).
Summer should be enjoyed to the fullest but taking the time to restore a healthy routine and strengthen your family’s immune system before going back to school will help you enjoy the sunny days of September too. Get your family’s digestive system back on track with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains and the deliciously drinkable probiotic power of Bio-Kidz!
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