Working with Kids? What to do so you don’t get sick!

Child care is a rewarding and enjoyable career that a lot of young adults choose to embark on after leaving the many years of formal education. Some of these folk get to experience the excitement of learning and to excel once they realize they are learning about something that interests them and they are actually good at.

What is not so much fun is how sick they can get, generally within the first year of working in a child care environment.  The excitement of this new experience can soon wear off as illnesses take hold and fatigue sets in. What starts out as enthusiasm for this new environment and the opportunity to put into practice newly learnt skills, soon dwindles to a point where they wish they were anywhere but there.

Childcare workers love little folk, that’s why they choose this vocation. Close body contact that is part of caring for little folks, long hours and children who readily share their viruses, places our child care workers in a vulnerable position. Children will often seem to have continuously runny noses from viruses as they build up their own immunity, and each time you care for them you may be facing a new virus or bacteria. Building up your own immunity is most important measure to prevent illness.

How to protect yourself

Wash your hands

It may seem obvious but it still is one of the most important things to do. We teach our children to wash their hands after going to the bathroom and before handling food. But do we do it ourselves?  Wash your hands at every opportunity and wipe down door handles and other frequently touched surfaces with soap and water regularly to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Get enough sleep

Staying up late or frequent partying can reduce your immune system allowing for viruses to take hold. Enjoy spending time with your friends and the things you love doing outside of your job, just choose to do them when you can catch up on sleep the next day. But also allow time for relaxing pastimes such as reading, listening to music and gentle exercise.

Eat Right

Having poor eating habits such as skipping meals, being too busy for breakfast, or making poor dietary choices will reduce your ability to fight of viruses and bacteria. Good nutrition is the building block of the body. Try and start every day with a good breakfast and make sure you eat regular meals throughout the day. Consume at least 2 pieces of fruit and five vegetables every day. This is what you will be teaching your little ones to do and will help them stay well also. Don’t forget to include a protein source at every meal. Protein foods include meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy foods and soy based foods and also combinations of nuts, seeds, legumes and grains.

What to take

Sometimes eating well, getting enough sleep and practicing good hygiene is not enough and you can find yourself succumbing again to yet another cold virus or tummy bug. This can be the time where you need help to build back your immune system and take some preventatives to stop viruses in their tracts. This is where our Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Medicine come into play.

Echinacea (echinacea purpurea)

Most people are familiar with Echinacea now-a-days and it is generally considered by Naturopaths to be the go-to herb for any infection in the body. It can be used all year round as a preventative medicine and is particularly useful against upper respiratory infections such as tonsillitis, sinusitis, influenza as well as the common cold. Eagle Echinacea Royal is a powerful product containing a mixture of anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs to fight infections.  

Click Here For Information on Eagle Echinacea Royal.


Andrographis paniculata is a powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial herb that can be taken to reduce the severity of symptoms of the common cold such as sore throat, fevers, cough and blocked nose, and help prevent viral complications such as infections of the tonsils and sinuses. It can be beneficial for cases of diarrhoea and urinary tract infections. Andrographis works well in combination with other herbs to help prevent and treat ill health.

Olive leaf

Antioxidants help reduce the amount free radicals in the body; these are the guys that cause ill health and disease. Normally our bodies are able to repair damage and recover from illness but when free radicals become too high, our body’s ability to fight disease is reduced and poor health is experienced. Olea europaea extract (Olive leaf) is considered one of the richest sources of antioxidants available. This amazing botanical is not only able to enhance the immune system and fight viral infections; it also can work against other microbes such as parasites and intestinal worms.
BioCeuticals make a practitioner only product containing Androphics, Olive leaf and Echinacea.
Click Here For Information on BioCeuticals Armaforce.

Zinc and Vitamin C

Both zinc and vitamin C can reduce the severity and the duration of upper respiratory infections. Zinc can help protect against diarrhoea infections, which commonly occurs in child care settings. Vitamin c is considered an antioxidant and has antihistamine properties, and both can aid wound healing. A fantastic product is available from Blackmores combining echinacea, zinc and vitamin C.
Click Here  For Information on Blackmores Echinacea ACE plus zinc.

Putting it all together

  • Healthy eating that includes two pieces of fruit a day, vegetables or salad; a protein source at every meal and a balanced eating plan
  • Get enough sleep, rest and relaxation
  • Practice good hygiene methods
  • Take preventative and immune boosting medicine such as Zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, andrographis, and olive leaf.

Practitioner Only products are prescribed through your Doctor or Naturopath.

Author: Superpharmacy Naturopath