The start of a new school year brings with it many exciting  changes, Confinement indoors much of the day also brings with it the inevitable colds, flu and other viruses passed from one well meaning child to the next.

Children are exposed to millions of germs at school, resulting in 8-12 colds per year for children in day care or elementary school. It’s only a matter of time before these germs turn into a day off spent home sick in bed, and possibly spreading the illness to the rest of the family. Days off from school and work cost the US economy nearly $576 billion per year, according to Forbes.

There are ways to prepare for another school year and protect your kids from the germs they will encounter at school. Rather than reaching into the medicine cabinet to treat your child’s symptoms, here are a few ways to boost your child’s immune system and prevent illness.

1. Natural Factors Vitamin C Fruit Chews: Vitamin C  is vital to the body’s maintenance of overall health. This easy-to-take chewable formula by Natural Factors—with 500mg of 100% Vitamin C in every chew, plus citrus bioflavonoids, rosehips and rutin for increased absorption—it’s one of our top-sellers. Available in 4 kid-friendly flavors: Blueberry, Raspberry and Boysenberry; Jungle Juice; Four Mixed Fruit Flavors, and Peach, Passionfruit and Mango. $13.99, 30 chewables
2. Probiotic Garden of Life: Like the rest of us, kids need probiotics to build a healthy microbiome and support digestive and immune health. We love the Dr. Formulated Chewable Probiotics from Garden of Life. Designed by David Perlmutter, M.D., an expert in the human microbiome, a board-certified neurologist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and an expert in brain health, this USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified probiotic has no added sugar, contains vitamin C from the organic Amla berry (30mg), vitamin D (400IU), and prebiotic fiber to help maintain healthy immunity. Available in 3 delicious flavors including Berry Cherry, Strawberry Banana and Watermelon. Everyday low price $18.99, 90 chewables
3. Wiley’s Finest Fish Oil: Fish Oil delivers nutrients that support the development of young bodies, including healthy eyes, healthy brain function, and vital immunity. This liquid fish oil for kids is easy to mix into applesauce or mild enough to take right off the spoon. Begninner’s DHA (ages 1+) has 400 mg EPA and 250 mg DHA per serving; Elementary DHA for school-age children (ages 4+) has 1000 mg EPA and 500 mg DHA per serving. Everyday low price $23.99, 4.23 fl oz