Kid with cold_Meeting Point Health



Several days ago our daughter has a cold and a fever and is complaining of a sore throat. We discovered that she got into some gummy worms right before she started feeling ill (kids can be so sneaky!)  After berating ourselves sufficiently for not throwing those gummy worms away when we should have, we immediately implemented “Operation Get My Kid Better.”

In this 2-part series I want to discuss some of my high-yield methods for dealing with a cold. In the first part, we will discuss how to effectively avoid a cold in the first place (and rest assured, this is actually possible!) In the second part, I will give you my recommendations of supplements to use for treatment when your kids come down with the sniffles.


My husband is a primary care physician, who always likes to enforce prevention. He quotes grand idioms like,“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Rather than rehash all the stuff you know already like wash your hands and don’t share cups during cold season, I’d like to give some recommendations you may not be familiar with.


Just to set the record straight, we almost never let our kids have processed sugar like gummy worms.  It just so happens we had a birthday party for my daughter and a make-your-own-cupcake activity which happened to include the option of gummy worms, which somehow did not make it into the trash immediately after.  The problem with processed sugar such as gummy worms, Swedish fish, and the like, is that research has shown that the sugar itself (processed sugar that is) actually interferes with your immune system by preventing your white blood cells from working properly.  In my daughter’s case, she was actually complaining of feeling run down a couple days before, and probably could have fought off the virus that got her, but the gummy worms likely weakened her system allowing her to succumb to the illness.


I think this one is pretty well known but is important to mention nonetheless.  Just the same as adults, a child’s immune system is weakened with less sleep.  What is particularly injurious is the cumulative loss of sleep, and in the case of my daughter, we let the kids go to bed a little later last week then we usually do, and it looks like it came back to bite us.  Especially in these winter months with decreased sunlight exposure (read less Vitamin D), and folks coughing in closed quarters, proper sleep is vital to keep your kids healthy.

You might be asking at this point, how much is enough sleep? Good question.

Our kids are 5 and 7 years old. They go to bed at 7pm. That’s right – 7pm. It seems early, but when you consider all that happens during sleep aside from boosting your immune function, you begin to prioritize sleep.  I will save a more thorough explanation of sleep for another post, but suffice it to say that one very important thing your child’s body is doing when sleeping is releasing melatonin, which triggers the release of growth hormone, which aids the storing of new information and memories (read proper brain development.)  Some kids thrive on more sleep -more than you would expect. If you have the type of kids who won’t sleep for 11 hours, experiment with different bedtimes until you find the perfect bedtime. Dial back bedtime by 15 or 30 minutes and see if they still wake up at the same time. If they normally go to bed at 8:30, try 8 pm. The more sleep the better.


Did you know that when your body temperature falls even slightly, your immune cells are weakened? It is absolutely true. Warm immune cells launch a more robust attack on foreign invaders than when they are cooler. That means that when you are putting on all those extra layers on your kid in the colder months, you are making a big difference in how they fight off a virus.

Our kids are always trying to escape the house without a proper coat. There isn’t a day in which they are not trying to plead their case against the added hat and gloves. You may have noticed, as we have, that children are not as sensitive to cold weather as an adult. This is natural. They may not feel their body temperature dropping, but it is still happening, and even the slightest changes will negatively effect the immune response.


We are big advocates for providing your kids (and yourself) with a daily whole food vitamin supplement.  We enforce whole food vitamins opposed to generic popular kids’ vitamins which mostly all contain processed sugar and will weaken their immune system for the very reasons I mentioned in the first point. Synthetic vitamins are also not as bioavailable as natural ones. The natural vitamins in fruits and vegetables, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E, are powerful antioxidants, which boost the immune system, and help our bodies fight off invaders to the system.

We’ve been using a company called Juice Plus for our whole food vitamin supplementation for several years.  I find myself able to keep from getting sick most of the year when I’m taking my Juice Plus and the only time I get sick is when I either miss doses, lose sleep, or both.  The same goes for our kids who take the gummy form. By the way, they use organic cane sugar in their gummies not processed sugars and this makes the difference. Choose your own supplement, of course, but always check your labels. In my daughter’s case, she lost sleep, missed a couple doses of her vitamins, AND consumed processed sugar. I think you are getting the idea here. Candy, bad. Sleep, good.

Stay tuned for the next post in which I will give you our personal protocol of supplements used for clearing away a cold.

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