Keeping your child healthy

Q: My five-year-old son just started school. The school sent home a letter stating simple instructions about how to reduce germs transferred in the classroom. As a concerned mother, I want to know more about how I can build my son’s immunity to the many different types of bacteria and viruses that will be in his classroom during the year.

Signed, Concerned Mother

A: Dear CM: Everyone knows that children carry an enormous amount of germs around, especially when they start school. They may not have the immunity needed to overcome a great many “bugs” that are present in the school population.

After awhile they will become immune, but initially there may be a period of time when your child is getting sick more then usual. In order to help him stay healthy and fully experience the wonders of school you should take certain precautions. This will also protect everyone else in your household.

First, you should encourage your son to wash his hands frequently. Most viruses and other infections are commonly transferred by touching contaminated surfaces such as toys, pencils and the like. You should also wash his hands and change his clothes as soon as he comes home from school. This will stop the spread of “bugs” that hitch a ride from school.

A healthy diet low in sugar will help maintain a strong immune system and help fight any incoming infections. Minimal junk food is always a good place to start. A good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that is child friendly is an excellent way to help ward off illnesses.

Also, there are numerous homeopathic remedies on the market that are safe for toddlers, children and adults that will help strengthen the immune system and prevent onset of colds and flus. The most easily available is Ocilococcinum made by Boiron. If taken at the first onset of flu symptoms it can completely stop the onset or minimize the severity and duration of the symptoms.

The other commonly used remedies for prophylaxis are Thymus homeopathic preparation to stimulate the immune system and Influenzinum, which help prevent flu. Influenzinum can be used if flu shots are contraindicated.

A good supply of Vitamin C either as a supplement or in food is also a good idea.