5 ways to head back-to-school safely

Are you concerned about sending your kids back to school with COVID-19 still looming? Consider these 5 things you and your family can do to stay protected as we all try to return to a new normal.

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been well-proven to improve immune function, especially over the past 5 years. It protects you from getting colds and respiratory viruses like COVID-19, but works much better if you’ve been taking it long before the virus strikes, than if you wait to start taking it when you are sick. What does this mean for you? Don’t skip the Vitamin D! The best way to boost Vitamin D is through supplementation. (Check packaging for age-appropriate dosing.) Also, make sure your kids get some direct sunlight on their skin most every day to activate the vitamin D from their food. Our bodies can extract Vitamin D from our food but then need UV light to make it usable. This is why we need to get some sun every day!
  • Vitamin C. A 2007 Cochrane review showed that taking 1g of vitamin C daily before a cold, decreased cold symptoms in children. This is another vitamin that you should have your child take daily right away. Don’t worry about them getting too much vitamin C. Unlike vitamin D, whatever they don’t use will be flushed out in their urine.
  • Zinc. A 2011 Cochrane review showed that Zinc taken daily for at least 5 months decreases colds, missed school, and the need for antibiotics in children. (Check the packaging for age-appropriate dosing.) Half the dose if it makes them nauseous.
  • N acetyl Cysteine (NAC). According to the American Academic of Family Physicians (AAFP), NAC can decrease cough in children older than 2 years and is commonly used in Europe for that purpose. Doses vary but start with a low dose and increase slowly. Decrease the dose if it causes nausea.
  • Probiotics. The AAFP also reports that probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus alone or combined with Bifidobacterium, when taken throughout the winter, can help prevent getting colds in children. It decreases the chances of having fever, cough, runny nose, missed school, and the need for antibiotics. Find a probiotic with at least 10 billion CFUs of these bacteria and put them on your back-to-school shopping list!

As with any respiratory infection, adequate sleep and hydration are essential tools in staying healthy. Insist that your child get these building blocks of health all the time to prevent and recover from illness. In addition to these 5 steps to stay healthy, wearing a mask and social distancing should still be done as officials in your local area recommend.

We at Kale Functional Medicine wish you a successful and safe new school year!


[1] Fashner J, Ericson K, Werner S. Treatment of the common cold in children and adults. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(2):153-159.

[2] Seheult, R. (2020, July 16). Vitamin D COVID-19 Immunity, The endothelium, and Deficiencies. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.medcram.com