Easing Back into School

Q. Do you have any recommendations to avoiding getting sick and stressed out as I prepare my my three young kids to go back to school?

A. How I remember those years! Though my kids are now both in their 20s, those back to school illnesses are still less-than-fond memories, as they not only passed to one another but also the rest of the family. My approach was to create a strong foundation of wellness. While using the following protocol, if they did come down with an illness, the vast majority of the time they would  generally not get so sick as to miss school days. I also remember telling my kids not to stress about the academics, that all they could do is their best and their best will always be good enough. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Have the kids get plenty of sleep the week before school starts, so their immune systems are resilient. This also includes adjusting their sleep/wake schedules a week ahead, as needed.

  2. On the food front, I am a big fan of foods high in vitamin C like citrus, along with zinc-rich foods like nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds if they have a taste for them.

  3. The other big thing is hydration. Dry mucous membranes, from my experience, are more susceptible to infection. Eyes, nose, throat and lungs are all portals for infection in crowded classrooms. The goal for my patients, young and old, is to have two to three urinations per day that are clear or near clear in color as a reflection that hydration is on par.

  4. As far as supplements, I recommended they use a single dose of Echinacea per day, three to four days before school started. And then for the first couple of weeks to help support their immune systems. As parents, the back to school routine stresses us as well. After all, when they get homework and projects, that means we do too. I often recommend Stress Guard for most of my parents as it contains the ingredients I used personally to help ward off school induced stress. It contains B vitamins, commonly called the stress vitamins, along with calming herbs that also nurture the adrenal glands such as Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Licorice, Skullcap along with L-theanine.  Supporting our adrenal glands year around is something I emphasize in my clinical practice and with the addition of L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid found in green tea, the calming effect is nicely noticeable.

I trust the school year will be full of great adventures and growth for your children, and that your family’s immune system will be well fortified and resilient. Good luck with the homework that you will inevitably get looped into doing.

Peace and Abundant Blessings,
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.


About Dr. Meletis, N.D.

Chris Meletis, N.D., has more than 25 years of experience practicing natural medicine. Based in Portland, Oregon, he shares his vast knowledge with fellow healthcare providers and his patients, and generously give to those in need. A lecturer and author, Dr. Meletis as written over a dozen books and hundreds of national articles. He was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was inducted into the National University of Natural Medicine Hall of Fame in 2018.