by Amy Neuzil, ND

Back to school season can be a whirlwind of preparation, excitement and chaos. Everyone remembers to get the new backpack, but sometimes the most important pieces, the ones that involve your child’s health, get forgotten. Here are some essential back-to-school basics that will keep your kiddo healthy and happy for the entire school year.


  • Beat the Bugs – We’ve had some rains this summer and that means mosquitos at school, sports practice and everywhere else. There are plenty of safe options to keep the bugs at bay. One recent favorite are Don’t Bite Me patches – just stick one on and you’re good for up to 36 hours. The active ingredients are just B vitamins so it’s as safe and non-toxic as we can get. There are some great herbal bug spray options too like All Terrain Herbal Armor Insect Repellant.
  • Beat the Other Bugs – If the summer camp season is anything to go by it’s going to be a rough year for head lice. Probably a great idea to just treat preventatively.  Quit Nits Everyday Head Lice Preventative Spray is a great daily routine to keep your kiddo critter-free.  If something does manage to take hold then Lice Ice or Lice R Gone make great non-toxic treatments.
  • Keep Calm – It seems to me that kids lives are getting more and more stressful, and that can interfere with sleep and even lead to anxiety that interferes with performance and joy at school.  Natural Calm Magnesium supplement before bed can help to calm kids down, help them cope with stress more easily and improve their sleep quality. Rescue Remedy from Bach is a great in-the-moment solution for mild anxiety before tests.
  • Protect from the Sun – Sure school starts in the autumn, but in Texas it’s still sweltering and the sun is blistering down on exposed skin during athletic practices. Making sure your kiddo has a great barrier sunscreen will help to protect them down the road from sun damage and skin cancer. Burn Out Kids or All Terrain KidSport Spray are both great SPF 30 options for practice days.
  • Protect from the Heat – Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real issues in Texas and it’s important to make sure your little one understands how important it is to keep drinking water. Adding a good electrolyte and trace mineral packet to their water during practice can be a great way to make sure they are staying on their feet and healthy. Electrolyte Stamina Power Paks are a delicious way to make sure your kiddo is getting everything they need and they come in a variety of delicious flavors like piña colada, cranberry, raspberry, orange and lemon lime.
  • Prevent Tragedy – It sounds dramatic but making sure your child’s sports physical is done right is absolutely vital to prevent major repercussions and make sure your child doesn’t have a heart defect that can lead to sudden death during athletics. It isn’t common, but screening for it is paramount. Dr. Victor Carsrud does a thorough comprehensive, UIL-approved sports physical to ensure your child’s safety. Call 512.219.8600 to schedule and for $40 and half an hour of your time you can ensure your child’s health and fitness for the athletic year.
  • Heal the Bumps and Bruises – Kids are kids and they going to crash into things regularly. Arnicare cream, gel or arnica montana tabs can help the bruises to heal and the bumps to stop hurting.
  • Boost the Brain – Making sure your child has enough nutrients can go a long way to boosting their performance at school.  This means a well-rounded breakfast every morning. Eggs, bacon and toast really is a good one but whole grain cereal with yogurt and berries will work great too. This also means a good multi-vitamin and mineral like Child Life Essentials liquid or Druckers IntraMax liquid will give your child all the nutrition they need to perform at their peak.  A great fish oil like Barleans Omega Swirl will boost brain health as well. It has the added bonus of tasting like dessert so it’s easy to get kids (and adults) to take. Try the mango peach or key lime. Delicious!
  • Boost Immunity – School is where your little one comes face to face with all the germs that are going around, so it’s not a bad idea to give them some extra protection, especially during the fall and spring flu seasons. Symbiotics Chewable Colostrum Plus is a great daily addition to boost immunity and Horizon Naturals or Eby’s Zinc Lozenges are a good addition when you first see signs of sniffles or sneezes.
  • Fight the FluOscillococcinum can help shorten the duration of any flu or flu-like symptoms. There are no side-effects and no drug interactions so it’s a great one to keep in your medicine cabinet just in case.

Of course kids are kids and things will still happen, but you can have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re prepared for everything and that your kiddo has the best protection possible. If nothing else, make sure your child’s sports physical is thorough, complete and current.