The September back-to-school period invokes a unique blend of feelings for both parents and children: excitement, anticipation, and butterflies, with novelty, planning, and growth all in the mix. More time indoors, crowded rooms of kids, and cooler weather can also present challenges to our immune systems though. The first two weeks back to school in September often involve a spike in colds/upper respiratory tract infections1. The infection rate can increase by six times the usual rate as germs spread. Back to school asthma is also a thing—possibly driven in part by the increase in respiratory infections.2,3
Some basic measures all parents should follow and reinforce for their kids —especially when they're back at school—include familiar ones:
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap
- Cough into your arm
- Blow your nose with tissues and wash your hands afterward
- Don’t go touching your or your classmates’ eyes, mouths, or noses
That last one can be challenging sometimes for excitable little ones playing around.
When it comes to this back to school period, your kids can put their best foot forward with a little immune system support in the form of fruit powders and crystals.
That’s not a typo! These aren’t your typical fruits. Specifically, Flora Elderberry Crystals and Acerola Powder combine perfectly in water, juice, or smoothies to provide immune-supportive antioxidants like vitamin C and anthocyanins.* If a liquid version works better for the family, Flora also has Elderberry+ Liquid Formula Kids available with elderberry, echinacea, and licorice to support immune health and soothe sore throats.*
These are all best taken at the first sign of seasonal issues but can also be used preemptively for the back to school period. This way, the immune system will be primed and well-stocked for any viral invaders hitching a ride on sticky fingers.
Robert Dadd is a Master Herbalist (Dominion Herbal College) with a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University. His areas of research include adaptogens, probiotics, and essential fatty acids. He is currently the Product Information Supervisor for Flora Manufacturing and Distributing.
- Perry Markovich M, et al. Israel Pediatric Upper Respiratory Infection Network (IPURIN). Back-to-school upper respiratory infection in preschool and primary school-age children in Israel. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 May;34(5):476-81.
- Bundle N, Verlander NQ, Morbey R, et al Monitoring epidemiological trends in back to school asthma among preschool and school-aged children using real-time syndromic surveillance in England, 2012–2016 J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 01 July 2019.
- Osborne ML, Vollmer WM, Buist AS. Periodicity of asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis in a northwest health maintenance organization. Chest. 1996 Dec;110(6):1458-62.