BACK TO SCHOOL HEALTH
Hooray shout the parents! Boo shout some of the kids! Well mine sort of do. They are happy to be seeing their friends but the idea of sitting in class in the warm weather when the beach calls is not appealing.
As strange as it seems the transition from running around to sitting in the classroom can be quite de-energising. There are two reasons for this. First, the body is being asked to transfer energy back to the brain and use it in a way it has not been used for 6 – 7 weeks, and secondly, while sitting may appear to conserve energy, it is activity that gets the body generating energy, not sitting.
It’s not unusual for kids to appear a little run down in the first few weeks. To help with a health transition back to school think about the following:
- Decrease junk food which may be easier said than done if they have a tuck shop at school.
- Fresh fruit with its juicy innards and enzymes helps the body cope with changes in energy and of course helps keep them hydrated.
- A multi vitamin is advisable. When the body is under hot, sitting still conditions it may not feel like ingesting much food – so it offers an avenue of nutritional insurance.
- Hydration: teach them to drink when they have a break, especially if they have been running around at lunch time. Most teachers are vigilant with primary kids; it is the older ones that may forget to drink fluids. Just recently I purchased for the kids drink bottles with a thin detachable ice tube that fits on the underside of the lid. Put it in the freezer at night, and in the morning it inserts into the water bottle to keep it cool.
- Avoid sugary drinks: they make the kids really thirsty soon after drinking them. Avoid energy drinks too. I have seen both kids and teens drinking energy drinks on the way to school. The issue here is that the energy hit they receive comes crashing back down again. Better to work on hydration, diet and, if need be, supplementation to improve their body’s own ability to create sustainable energy.
- Avoid msg. Now I know there is research showing it is both bad and okay. Msg is a neuro-excito substance. That means it not only stimulates the brain but pokes and prods it in to hyper-action. Some kids are immune to its effects, but the teachers I have spoken to and worked alongside all have reported improvement in behaviours when msg laced junk food was banned from their teaching environments.
Immune issues are not normally thought of when school goes back – yet consider that kids go from mingling with a handful of people to hundreds of kids where they can have their pick of bugs. Sore throats, hayfever and skin issues are some prime candidates. A lot of schools mow their lawns before going back, essentially loading the air with the smell of grass, not helping hayfever.
What's the best preventative?
- Vitamin C. As a much needed nutrient for the body it is widely utilised by so many body systems, that its status as a super nutrient is well deserved. Immune function depends on it. Hayfever and its related symptoms can be reduced using a relevant dose of it. Adrenal function which is closely involved in energy production can’t do with out it. Bumps, bruises, scapes, cuts, wounds and skin issues all improve on it – the Vitamin C helping the underlying collagen repair.
- Colostrum extract containing Proline Rich Polypeptides are invaluable for hayfever as are products containing the dead, activated friendly bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus (DV strain – lysate). Both of these ingredients have been shown to settle down immune overreactions.It also helps the stress response for those a little jaded about going back to school.
- Magnesium is a great place to start for any signs of worry, fretting or poor sleeping. In this hot weather magnesium can be lost through activity and sweating. So as well as helping calm nerves down it can help energise a person and relax them fully after a day at school.
Following this can help the transition back to school go a lot easier.