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4 Ways to Boost Your Children’s Immune System This Fall

As we help our children buy school supplies and outfits while planning extracurricular activities, we should also focus on boosting their immune system. It’s common for kids to catch colds throughout Fall and Winter. Let’s review four ways to help children boost their immune system as they return to school.

1. Prioritize Healthy Eating Habits

Packing a healthy lunch with healthy nutritious snacks is important.
Eating patterns lead to headaches, fatigue, and other ailments. In contrast, nutrition supports focus, memory, concentration, mental health, and school performance. Eating a healthy diet is also essential to fight off pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and foreign invaders that spread disease. Healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, provide the body with vitamins and minerals that help it fight off disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Additionally, eating a variety of foods can help the body build up a diverse range of good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut that can help protect against harmful pathogens. Probiotics are also present in fermented foods like yogurt or kimchi to help protect against infection.

Food is our body’s fuel, so we operate at our highest potential. We need to refuel to keep going. The higher the quality and amount, the better our performance. While lower-quality food can lead to restlessness, irritability, inflammation, sleeping challenges, behavioural concerns, and low energy levels.

To practice healthy eating habits:
Consult your paediatrician about nutrition recommendations that are best for your children and lifestyle preferences.

2. Encourage Hand Hygiene

You play an influential role in teaching children how to wash hands. Handwashing can become a lifelong healthy habit if you encourage children to do so early. Germs can easily be spread from person to person, but proper hand washing can help reduce the chances of spreading germs and prevent illness. This is especially important for young children as their immune systems are not as well developed as adults. By teaching children good hand washing habits from an early age, they can help protect themselves and others from getting sick.

Educate your children about the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy. They should wash their hands:

Coach them about the easy handwashing steps with soap and water:
  1. Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap.
  2. Rub the soap in between hands, covering all surfaces.
  3. Lather ther the soap on the front and back of hands, between fingers, and under nails.
  4. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice for a timer.
  5. Rinse hands well under clean, running water.
  6. Turn off the faucet with a sanitary napkin or paper towel.
  7. Dry hands with a clean napkin or towel, and air dry hands.
They should carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol so they can still follow proper hand hygiene, even if soap and water are not readily available. Show your children how to pour the alcohol-based hand sanitizer over all of the surfaces of their hands, and then rub hands together for about 20 seconds until they are dry.
Also remind them how sanitizers are not as effective as soap and water, especially when hands are visibly dirty. They do not cleanse all types of germs and heavy chemicals like soap and water. Thus, if soap and water are available then that is the better option.
Lead by example, so they replicate and incorporate hand hygiene into their daily routine. You can make handwashing fun by playing and singing along with a handwashing song.

3. Prioritize Sleep

Inadequate sleep lowers the ability to fight infections and reduce inflammation. In contrast, adequate sleep improves attention, behaviour, problem-solving, learning, memory, and mental and physical health. Encourage sleep as a mini-vacation for the brain to sort thoughts, solve problems, replace chemicals, and store information. Rest will also help them prepare their body for the next day, so they are less cranky and clumsy and more alert.
Sleep requirements vary by age. Consult your paediatrician for recommendations about your children’s sleep needs. Typically:

Peaceful Bedroom Tips

Please encourage your children to clear their room of anything that may invoke stress. If the bedroom is noisy, try earplugs to tune out the noise. A floor wool rug absorbs sound and dampens vibrations.

Create a serene tidy environment in the bedroom with soft, comforting colours. Consider white, mint green, soft pink, pale blue, and lilac. The paintings, wallpapers, accents, and textures should evoke tranquillity.

Hang up thick fabric and blackout curtains. We are more sensitive to light two hours before sleep until one hour after we wake up. Use dimmable lights and red lights.

Help them bathe one hour before bedtime to relax for a better sleep.

If they use technology devices, then educate them about how these devices disrupt sleep. And should be put away at least two hours before time for slumber.

Also, establish a set bedtime and wake-up time to make it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

4. Don’t Skip Immunizations

Immunizations begin in infancy and continue through late adulthood. Consult your paediatrician for advice about the childhood vaccination schedule. Also, consult your school if they have immunization requirements. Certain provinces also have immunization requirements for school-age children. You may be required to provide proof for children to attend primary or secondary school. The Canadian Paediatric Society and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization currently recommend:
Guide your children to receive the influenza vaccine early as well. If your children experience chronic health concerns, they may need extra vaccines to protect them from infections that healthier children would tolerate better. Your paediatrician will also inform you if a vaccine needs to be delayed because it may cause challenges with your children’s health condition. The Canadian Paediatric Society also recommends that all school-age children receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To secure a fast and convenient vaccine appointment at a pharmacy in your area, simply visit


As we all gear up for the fall season, it’s important to do what we can to help keep our children healthy. You can help boost your children’s immune systems so they’re ready to tackle germs. The key is to take proactive steps to give your little ones the best defense.  By prioritizing healthy eating habits, encouraging hand hygiene, better sleep, and immunizations, you can help protect your children on the road to healthier living this fall. Not only will you keep them germ-free, but you’ll also be setting them up for a future of healthy habits.

So start making these immune boosters a part of your routine today and keep your children healthy and safe this season.

Please schedule a consultation with a paediatrician near you to help your children boost their immunity and prepare their health for the school year ahead.

About the author

Dr Adil Maqbool

Dr Adil Maqbool

Dr. Adil is an accomplished medical writer, researcher, and doctor. He has published numerous papers in renowned medical journals and is recognized as an expert in the field. He is highly sought after for his medical writing, research, and patient care expertise. He takes great pride in his work and strives to stay up-to-date with the latest medical developments.

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