Healthy Kids, Happy Parents

Healthy Kids, Happy Parents

Optimize your Immune Health with Clinically Proven Natural Remedies

With old man winter on the horizon, 'tis the season for sniffles, sneezes, coughs and colds. 

With the on-going pandemic, overcrowding hospitals and limited access to physicians, keeping our kids and ourselves healthy is top of mind for all Canadians. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to remember that the best form of prevention is a strong immune system.

In a typical cold and flu season, most children catch an average of 6 to 10 colds or flu. These infections can result in multiple trips to the doctor’s office and most often antibiotic prescriptions. 

However, the controversy on their overuse and negative effects have both physicians and parents seeking alternatives to fill this therapeutic gap. 

For the last decade, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been advocating for a reduction in antibiotic use due to its connection to the obvious advance of antimicrobial resistance.(1) 

Increasing public health threat a conundrum for parents 

When your child is sick and screaming with pain in the middle of the night, you want to fix it and fast. But at what cost?

Research shows that the earlier children are exposed to antibiotics, the greater the implications. A study in JAMA Pediatrics in June, 2016 found that antibiotic use can take a child’s guts at least a year—sometimes two—to recover from one course of antibiotics.(2)

Currently there are no alternatives to antibiotics; however, there are natural remedies that focus on prevention, which can help decrease upper respiratory tract infections and incite an antibiotic time out. 

Stop viral infections in their tracks 

Perhaps the most popular immune-modulator is Echinacea purpurea. It has been known and used for centuries to prevent colds and flu, particularly preparations made from fresh, organic echinacea, which are 10 times more effective than products made from dry herbs.(3)

Echinacea’s potent antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can significantly prevent a broad range of viral infections and help to ease symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, fever and cough) and speed recovery of colds and flu.(4,5)

A recent 2018 study at the University Hospital in Zurich involving 203 children aged four to twelve years demonstrated that a particular preparation of echinacea, A.Vogel’s Echinaforce® Junior, made with fresh, organic Echinacea, was effective in preventing respiratory infections and reducing the risk of bronchitis, pneumonia and sinusitis. More significantly, it reduced the need for antibiotics in children by 76%.(6,7)

Earlier research in 2012 proved that it was safe to take up to four months and, that taken preventatively, can strengthen your little one’s immune system and help avert colds or flu by over 50%.(8)

Vital Vitamins C & D

Best known for its role in supporting the immune system, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps maintain overall health. It can be found in a rainbow assortment of foods such as  citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and kiwis.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential for children's bone development and to help their immune systems ward off illness.

From April through the end of October, spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day will stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D your child needs. However, in the winter months they might need a little extra help through food or supplementation. 

The most common vitamin D enriched foods include; salmon, sardines, tuna, cod-liver oil, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms. If your kid is a picky eater, there are numerous formats of vitamin D products and an average 600 IUs per day is what is recommended for kids under 12 by health professionals.

Krista Halton


  3. S.Vimalanathan, R.Schoop, J.Hudson: High Potency Anti-influenza Therapy with Herb and Root Combination. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 3 (12); 2013: 001-005
  4. Pleschka S, Stein M, Schoop R, Hudson JB: Anti-Viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea Purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian Influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV). Virology Journal (paper accepted November 2009). 
  5. Sharma M, Anderson SA, Schoop R, Hudson JB: Induction of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines by respiratory viruses and reversal by standardized Echinacea, a potent antiviral herbal extract. Antiviral Res. 2009 Aug;83(2):165-70 (
  6. Bächler A, Feldhaus S, Lang G, Klein P, Suter A, Schoop R. Dose-dependency of Echinacea in the treatment of acute common colds in children 4 – 12 years. Sociéte Suisse de Pédiatrie (SSP, Poster), 24th May, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  7. Ogal M, Klein P, Schoop R. Echinacea for the Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections in Children 4 - 12 years: A Randomized, Blind and Controlled Study. Sociéte Suisse de Pédiatrie (SSP, Poster), 24th May, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  8. Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinaforce® for long-term prevention of colds and flu Jawad M1), Klein P2), Eccles R1) Common Cold Centre and Healthcare, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  9. S.Vimalanathan, R.Schoop, J.Hudson: High Potency Anti-influenza Therapy with Herb and Root Combination. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 3 (12); 2013: 001-005