Now that the kids are back to school, it’s important to be ready for anything that might happen!
There are common ailments that most kids in school deal with, like the cold, lice, constipation, germs and even stress. But, instead of waiting for your child to catch one of these and then scrambling around to figure what’s the best and safest product to buy, be prepared!
Every beginning of the school year I stock up with natural and non-toxic products that I might need during the school year. And so far, every year I’ve used them all (except the lice one). I cannot tell you what a relief it’s been to have these products at home when needed. Being prepared is a great way to minimize stress because once your child is sick, you have other things to worry about, like being with them until they feel better.
Plus by stocking up ahead of time, you have plenty of time to check labels and study the ingredients to make sure you are buying products that are safe for your family.
I’ve done the research and found the safest options for the most common ailments. Check out this video from Good Morning Washington where I showcase all these products or click here to view it on Facebook! :
Keep on reading to learn more about how to deal with the common school ailments and what safe options are out there for your family.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind I am NOT a doctor. This is what has worked for our family and what I found through my research. Always consult with YOUR doctor before starting your child on any supplement or treatment.
The all-natural back-to-school survival kit every mom needs
Natural Lice treatment:
Hopefully you won’t have to deal with lice, but since lice can creep up unexpectedly and then you have to rush to take care of it – It’s best to always be ready for lice!
Lice is a pest! And sometimes hard to get rid of. No matter what product you end using you need to make sure your home stays lice-free. The first thing you should do if your child comes home with lice is to wash everything in hot water and dry it with high heat. You can skip the washing but the drying is essential as the high heat from the dryer will kill those little pesters!
Make sure you dry everything that has come in contact with your child’s head, like bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, and also wash or replace brushes and pony tails.
Two natural ways to treat lice on your child’s hair:
First of all, you will need a lice comb and a lot of patience. It is time consuming to remove lice but they can spread quickly so you want to take care of it as soon as possible. The lice comb is essential as most products don’t do a good job at killing lice.
You can get an over-the-counter lice treatment that is safe and non-toxic, but also effective!
Out top pick is Lice-Nil, which uses Neem oil as the main ingredient. Neem oil is known as a natural insecticcide and it disrupts the lice’s life cycle. All you have to do is apply the product on your child’s hair, wait 20 minutes and rinse off.
I keep several bottles at home and this is what we would use to treat lice because it’s simple, safe and effective.
Vinegar and coconut oil:
First of all, do a vinegar hair rinse. Vinegar helps loosen up the nits (lice eggs) so they come off easier and might even kill some of the nits. Mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar and 1 part of water and rinse your child’s hair throughly with it. Leave the mixture on your child’s hair for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse off.
After the vinegar has been rinsed off it’s time to smoother the lice with oils. You can use coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil. Whether the oils kill lice is still up for debate but they do slow those little suckers, which makes it easier to remove them with a comb.
Cover your child’s hair entirely in your oil of preference and then comb, comb, comb, until you see no trace of lice or nits. When you’re done combing, wash your child’s hair with shampoo and conditioner. Repeat as needed.
Don’t forget that whatever treatment you do, using a lice comb is essential for removing lice and their eggs. The finer the comb, the better! Here are some options with great ratings:
While nits can live for two weeks, lice can’t live for more than 24 hours off the human body so while it main seem stressful to get the news that your child has lice, if you take care of it immediately you are less likely to be dealing with lice for more than a few days.
Fight the common cold with black elderberry:
Black elderberry is amazing – it helps to fight the common cold because it contains certain flavonoids, which are called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have a remarkable ability to stimulate the body’s immune system and the highest concentration values of anthocyanins are found in black elderberries – nearly double the amount found in any other fruit.
However, not all black elderberry products are made the same. Sambucol is the only brand I trust since they use the black elderberry plant that has actual clinical studies showing it helps to fight a cold. They also use the whole black elderberry fruit extract; not just a juice extract like the others that are found in the market.
Sambucol became a staple in my home years ago, when our naturopath recommended it, and I believe it’s the reason why my kids didn’t miss school days because of a cold. Every time when the school would send notices of a cold or flu going around, I would make sure my kids took the Sambucol daily.
You can get Sambucol syrup or gummies:
- Gummies: They’re pectin based, which makes them suitable for vegetarians and vegan diets, and are free from all major allergens (including nuts, dairy and gluten).
- Kids elderberry syrup: We alternate between the gummies and this syrup. The kids love it!
- Black elderberry syrup: this is the one my husband and I take when we get sick or when the kids are sick. Every since we started doing this about 3 years ago, we don’t get when the kids get sick!
Essential oil blends for kids who deal with anxiety or need help staying focused:
Oilogic offers 2 different types of essential oil blends that are safe for children ages 2 and up. One is meant to help with anxiety and stress and the other to help children stay focused. Both products are Made Safe certified, which means they are free of ingredients that could be harmful for children, like petroleum, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, gluten, dea, dyes, mineral oil, artificial colors and synthetic perfumes.
What I love about these products is that they were invented by a mom who has a special needs child and wanted something more natural to help her child. She told me it has helped her child adjust to school better on those hard days!
These essential oil blends are great for any child who needs more focus or who deals with anxiety when going to school:
The blends are already diluted so you can carry a roller in your purse or put it in their backpack and use as needed. To use all you have to do is roll on a generous amount of the blend on back of the neck, chest and wrists, and breathe deeply.
Avoid constipation with soluble fiber:
Let’s face it – if some adults struggle using the bathroom when out and about, you bet our kids do too! Constipation is a serious issue, and can hinder your child’s focus in school. The best thing you can do for your kid is to make sure they’re getting enough fiber in their diet so they can use the bathroom easily and regularly.
Show this chart to your child and let them know that they should aim for a poop that look like #3 and #4. If it’s not looking that way, it’s best to supplement with soluble fiber.
- Eat twice as often.
- Eat half as much.
- Chew twice as long.
Some foods high in fiber that are easy to pack in school lunches are:
- Green beans
Fiber that actually works without the side effects:
But when diet is not enough and your child is showing sings of constipation, you might need to supplement with fiber. The problem is that a lot of fibers end up causing more problems than relief, and that is exactly why we love Sunfiber. It has over 120 clinical studies on humans showing that it helps to regulate your gut health, meaning, if your child (or you) is going too much or too little, this soluble fiber is going to regulate the trips to the bathroom and make your child’s poop the right texture. Sunfiber is also LOW fodmap certified!
And because it’s soluble and tasteless you can mix it in your child’s water or in their food without them even realizing it!
If you also want to add probiotics to your child’s diet, then Regular Girl is a great option. Regular Girl is a prebiotic fiber with probiotics – it contains 5 grams of fiber and 8 billion probiotics. It’s USDA Organic certified, Low FODMAD certified, Non-GMO certified, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten-free and doesn’t contain ANY fillers.
Regular Girl was kind enough to give our readers a special discount code: click here and use code “MAMAINSTINCTS10” at checkout. You can also get Regular Girl on Amazon but the discount code is only valid if you get directly on their site.
Hand sanitizers that are free of harmful ingredients:
There has been a lot of talk about hand sanitizers because some studies suggest that hand sanitizers contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics and some of the ingredients used in them have been linked to disruption of hormone function.
However, there are options that aren’t as harmful and get the job done:
- Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Everyone Hand Sanitizer Gel
- Cleanwell Botanical Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Spray
- CleanWell Botanical Antibacterial Hand Sanitizing Wipes
- EO Hand Sanitizing Wipes
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Elyptol Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer Spray
An easy to make sure your child is using a safer option at school is to keep a hand sanitizer inside their backup or hooked on a keychain. Remind your child to water and soap is always best, and when that’s not an option, to use the hand sanitizer in their back pack.
Looking for options to donate to your school class? I was worried about conventional hand sanitizers in my children’s classroom so I went ahead and bought sanitizer for the whole class. Here are some options you can buy in bulk and that are affordable:
Don’t forget that most illnesses can be prevented by good hand washing, especially before eating and putting their hands in their mouth. In fact, Netflix has a great episode on germs so watch it with your little ones so they remember to wash their hands regulalry.
There you have it! Now it’s time to stock up – make sure you have everything you need BEFORE your child gets sick so that if it happens, you are ready to deal with it. And above all, remember that your child needs your love the most.