It’s here, the start of a new school year. Give your child the best possible start with these top tips from homeopath Roz Crompton from Helios Homoeopathy…
Going back to school, college or university after the holidays can be quite stressful for some children, especially if they are starting a new school, going to nursery for the first time or have impending exams.
It takes time for immune systems to develop and children, especially young children, have a lower resistance to germs than adults. Schools can be a melting pot for infections, especially during the winter months with children spending much of the day in close proximity inside, often in over heated classrooms or suddenly go from a warm classroom to a freezing playground with insufficient clothing to protect them from the elements. Supporting and boosting the immune system is advisable before and during term time.
Children of all ages require the correct nutrients in order to maintain a healthy immune system, concentration levels and energy. Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in supporting immunity and brain power, however, we know how difficult it can be to ensure children eat the right things. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that a substantial proportion of teenage girls have low intakes of certain nutrients, most notably vitamin A, riboflavin, iron, calcium and folate, with an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency in both boys and girls. Many children are falling short of the recommended five portions of fruit or vegetables a day.
It is recognised that prolonged emotional stress can have a detrimental affect on the immune system. Observing, listening and talking to your child may be all the reassurance that is needed to support them going back to school. If your child is showing signs of anxiety, fearfulness or exam stress, there are many homeopathic remedies that can help. Being a gentle, safe and natural form of complementary medicine, it is suitable for children of all ages.
Homeopathy can also help eliminate coughs, colds, sore throats and flu.
For young children who are tearful, shy and cling to their parents, the remedy pulsatilla can be very helpful.
If your child is suffering from anticipatory anxiety before attending a new school, try the remedy argentum nitricum (arg nit), or if very fearful a combination of aconite, arg nit and arsenicum.
For stress and brain fog associated with impending exams or work overload, then the combination remedy AAA, which contains arg nit, ambra grisia and anacardium is excellent.
Nutritional and Immune System Support
As adults we need to eat enough food each day to make enough energy to carry out daily tasks and responsibilities. Children require food and nutrients to go about their daily tasks and functions as well as grow bigger each day. This combination of growth and the ability to function properly requires ‘essential nutrients’ such as protein, fats, carbohydrates and fibre, along with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids.
A balanced diet will provide most of the ‘essentials’ a child needs, however, I recommend supplementing with omega-3 fatty acid which is required for brain development, function, concentration and focus, and if your child is a fussy eater, a broad spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral complex which includes vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc.
Extensive research has shown the hugely important role that the gut plays in immunity and the benefit that probiotics bring in supporting immunity and good gut health. Whilst fermented foods, kefir and some yoghurts are a good source of probiotics, most children are not that keen. There are some excellent multi-strain probiotic supplements on the market suitable for babies and children that can be given on a daily basis.
Extracts of black elderberry and echinacea are also excellent immune system boosters and very beneficial during the winter months.
Finally, ensure your child gets enough sleep – when we sleep our body has time to renew and repair cells.
About Roz Crompton
Roz Crompton is a qualified homeopath and has worked with Helios for over 20 years. She is their trade and marketing manager and has been instrumental in the development of new homeopathic products and bringing them to market.