How to Battle the Back to School Bug

How to Battle the Back to School Bug

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic

Boulder, Colorado

It’s that time of year again. Fall is the time of year when our kids go back to school and we dread every sign of a sniffle, cough, and sore throat. There are some great ways to keep you and your child healthy through this season.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, lung energy (qi) is more vulnerable this time of year.  So, fall is a good time of year to start eating more cooked foods. It’s time to stop feeding your children salad and switch to bone broth and steamed vegetables. The body needs more warmth as the temperatures start to get colder outside.

Getting more sleep is also very important to keeping our adrenals and immune system healthy. Elementary school children need at least 10-12 hours. Middle school aged children need 9-10 hours of sleep. Teenagers and adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Everyone has a sweet spot of just enough sleep to keep them feeling their best. I have a 12-year-old son who is so much better behaved and focused when he gets at least 10 hours of sleep.  Most of our kids have gotten used to staying up late over the summer and we need to dial back their bedtime. Getting enough rest is important to keeping the immune system functioning at it’s best.  If we start getting them to bed early before they go back to school, their adrenals won’t be so stressed when the alarm goes off on the first day of school. That way they aren’t starting the year tired or wired from early mornings.

Sugar wipes out the immune system. I suggest going easy on sweets this time of year. You might choose to avoid ice cream now that summer is over. Remember cold foods this time of year are not a good option. This is because the body is already vulnerable to the temperatures outside getting colder at the same time. Warm apple crisp with a little coconut sugar would be a better dessert choice.

Reducing stress is important to keeping the immune system healthy. By eating warm healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and reducing sugar consumption, you will reduce internal stress. This will keep you and your child healthy and more focused as we start this school year.   Having well rested and well fed children makes every parent’s job easier and less stressful. Mornings can be tough to get anywhere. The beginning of school is probably one of hardest times to get everything together. 

Don’t forget to take your Vitamin D and probiotics this fall. These both help keep your immune system strong all winter and they also help lift your mood as we head into the darkest time of year.

Let’s start the year with success and health! If you or your child suffers every fall from colds and flu, it might be a good time to come in and have a consultation with me. I have many wonderful immune boosting supplements and/or herbs that will keep you well all fall and winter long.

To see the areas I focus on in Pediatrics click here

Dr.Pratt is a great team player and her work complements the other therapies and approaches we follow in conjunction.

- Parent of Autism Spectral Disorder Patient

Apart from BIT, Dr.Pratt's vast knowledge of the biomedical basis of ASD helps support parents as they try to heal the child's body in helping the brain develop.

- Parent of Autism Spectral Disorder Patient

There were such significant changes in my child's behavior after Dr. Pratt’s treatment, that it absolutely changed his life and the whole family.

- Behavioral Issues and Family Naturopathic Care

I have to say, I have never seen anything have such a positive impact on someone's life.

- ADD / Memory Recall Patient

Dr. Pratt's approach was friendly, relaxing, reassuring and non-invasive, and the progress that we saw in our son's writing was immediate and remarkable.

- Specific Learning Disability Patient

I would highly recommend Dr. Pratt’s nurturing, life changing treatments to anyone who desires a better, easier way of living in this world.

- Anxiety / Learning Disability Patient

Dr. Pratt’s treatment made it possible for my daughter to go to school full-time for the first time in two years, and as a matter of fact, she’s now talking about going to college instead of worrying that she’d never graduate high school.


- Patient of Head Injury Patient

Since my first appointment with Dr. Pratt, I have come back to her for every ailment. She has quickly and effectively cured every sickness I have experienced.

- Naturopathic Medicine Patient

I am working 4 days a week and I accomplish more in a day now than I did in a whole week before. I feel productive and useful after BIT.

- Head Injury Patient

It has not all been easy, changing your lifestyle and diet is a challenge but we feel very supported by Dr. Pratt. It's a long road to recovery but the rewards are great along the way. My son has almost recovered from his symptoms and we owe all of this to Dr. Pratt. We are very thankful to have crossed her path at the right time in our journey.

- EI, Rye, NY

Dr. Pratt is compassionate and well-informed about the various challenges and available options for children with special needs. She is always willing to brainstorm options with parents and has a way of getting through to the children.

- Best, Pooja

It is almost impossible to explain the dramatic and positive effect Dr Shelese Pratt has had on my health. It is without exaggeration that I say Dr Pratt has saved my life on numerous occasions. To say her work has dramatically increased the quality of my life is gross understatement. There is not an aspect of my physical, mental, or emotional health that Dr Pratt has not addressed at some point during my years as her patient. I first saw Dr Pratt in 2005, after suffering one infection after another over the course of three months and had exhausted my known medial avenues. She was the only doctor to see the connection to between all of my symptoms and to care long enough and deep enough to get to the bottom of them. I have sent countless loved ones and colleagues to her over the years and know that the level of her care has changed their lives for better without exception. I have had the privilege of seeing Dr Pratt for Brain Integration, naturopathic, and homeopathic treatments and I can say without any reservation that I credit my health and well being to her and her practice.

- Erica A., Naturopathic Medicine Patient