Starting nursery and the new school year: how to avoid bringing bacteria and microbes back home!

Specific Health Concern 21 September 2019

Your child, or children, might just be about to start a new school year or it might be their first time at nursery or kindergarten – so get ready to take on all sorts of illnesses!

Nasopharyngitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, conjunctivitis, gastro flu.. and it doesn’t just end there!

For all of those mums already endlessly running around, this only adds two more things to the list: finding an emergency solution for someone to look after your child and trying to avoid the microbes and illnesses which seem to spread at the speed of lightening and affect everyone from your husband to your other children and yourself included!


No need for that guilty conscience! 

Sending your child to nursery doesn’t make you a bad mum, so don’t let that get to you. “Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine”, a study published in 2010, recorded all the illnesses of 1300 Canadian families. It concluded that whether at nursery or not, all children ended up catching the same illnesses and infections with similar severity. Those who were in a nursery would simply end up falling ill sooner than those kept at home, who would then catch them when starting school.  


Avoid bringing bacteria and microbes back home..

This can be avoided with three simple but effective measures: 

  1. Hand washing: all family members should make sure to regularly wash their hands. You can even turn this into a fun game for your children using very ‘soapy’ soaps! Try to opt for traditional and natural soaps rather than industrial disinfectants which can be harsher on the skin. 
  2. Cleaning nasal cavities: our noses trap all the bacteria and microbes they can, so try to rinse it twice a day using a sea water spray. 
  3. Clothes & accessories: throughout the week, regularly wash items of clothing that spend their time both in the house and in the nursery: clothes, hats, scarves and of course any toys and teddy bears! Also remember to regularly sterilise any dummies. 

..and stop them from settling in

Regularly air out the house and disinfect every day for about half an hour using antiviral essential oils such as ravitsara, eucalyptus and lemon oils.. 


Strengthen both your own and your family’s immune system: 

Unfortunately, microbes and bacteria can travel in both directions.. so it’s important to strengthen and stimulate your own immune system by making sure you adopt a few habits: 

  1. Regularly eat fresh fruit and vegetables rich in Vitamin C.
  2. Try having some Acerola berries with your breakfast. 
  3. Reduce your intake of dairy and refined sugars, both of which encourage mucus production. 
  4. Eat red meat at least three times a week: iron is essential for the production of immune cells. 
  5. Sleep for at least 6 hours (lack of sleep can weaken your immune system). 
  6. Exercise at least once a week. 


Using dietary supplements 

Follow a treatment using Echinacea which helps to stimulate Immunoglobulin production with antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and anti inflammatory properties. 

Also ensure a regular intake of probiotics and Vitamin D to strengthen both your local and general 

immune system. 




  • Short- and Long-term Risk of Infections as a Function of Group Child Care Attendance An 8-Year Population-Based Study. Sylvana M. Côté, PhD Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 
  • Leibovitz B, Siegel BV. Ascorbic acid and the immune response. Adv Exp Med Biol 1981;135:1-25. 
  • Padayatty SJ, Katz A, Wang Y, Eck P, Kwon O, Lee JH, Chen S, Corpe C, Dutta A, Dutta SK, Levine M. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J. Am. Coll. Nutr.