You have probably heard that the immune system helps to fight off infections and maintain sound health; it actually functions as a network of organs and processes in the body that form a defence against infections and diseases. The stronger the immune system, the more prepared it is to provide resistance against infections and toxins. When it comes to children, their immune system is pretty much inexperienced and has not built up enough defences against disease causing microbes, making them more susceptible to falling ill.
Over time, children build their immunity by battling an ongoing series of germs, viruses, and other organisms—which is why many pediatricians consider six to eight colds, bouts of flu, or ear infections per year normal.
READ ALSO: 11 Reasons Why Your Baby Is Not Sleeping
Here are 6 simple ways to give your child’s immune system a boost:
1. Exercise Together
Research shows exercise can increase the number of cells that fight infection and regular exercise can benefit kids in the same way. Set aside a day, especially during the weekend and play some sports with your kids. It could be as simple as a throw-and-catch with a ball or racing with them from one spot to another within your home.
2. Ensure Boost Sleep
There are innumerable benefits in store for the mind and body when we get adequate sleep as adults, but same is true especially for children. Sleep rejuvenates the body and renews worn out cells.
According to Kathi Kemper, M.D., director of the Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research at Children’s Hospital, in Boston.
Studies of adults show that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells, immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. The same holds true for children.
Read previous post on how much sleep kids need to stay healthy.
3. Veggies and Fruity Fortresses
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your child’s food intake. Not only are they vital to general health, they are even more important in the growing immunity of a child’s body system. Colourful fruits like oranges are very rich in vitamin C and help to fight infections like common cold.
Berries, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, apples, sweet potatoes and grapes for example are rich in phytonutrients that increase the capacity of the immune system to fight infections. While most fruits are sweet and will likely appeal to your child, vegetables may be less agreeable and you will need to find creative ways to ensure your kids not only eat but also enjoy them.
You can make homemade fruit based smoothies with a combination of fruits if your child prefers liquids.
READ ALSO: 4 Tips to Get a Fussy Baby to Sleep
4. Love of Water
A great way to reduce stress on your child’s immune system is to make sure they wash their hands often—and with soap. Frankly speaking, it is impossible to completely keep germs away from your child, but you can help keep infections at bay by paying meticulous attention to your child’s hygiene.
Help your child to form a habit of washing their hands after play, as well as before and after meals. Another important tip is to encourage them to form a habit of drinking water, this helps to flush out toxins from the body. Remember that prevention is better than cure.
5. Shun Self-Medication
As good as antibiotics are, you want to exercise caution in administering them to your child each time he gets a cold or is running a mild fever.
While antibiotics are helpful against bacteria, wrong and prolonged use of same can cause your child’s body to build a resistance to the drugs making the immune system ineffective by attacking the good bacteria in the intestine called probiotics.
Probiotics are a community of bacteria that maintain body metabolism and line the inside of the intestinal tract. Antibiotics may attack these friendly bacteria and leave your child’s intestine and immune system open to harmful bacteria that can compromise your child’s health.
Consider natural home remedies like crushed garlic in their fruit juice or meal, but the best remedy remains taking your child to the pediatrician.
READ ALSO: New Study Reveals The Effect Of ‘Sleeping On It’ On Decision-Making
6. Cut Down on The Junk Food
Junk foods like burgers, pizzas, fries, ice-cream and their likes though delicious contain high amounts of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals.
We all need food to survive, but kids need them to also grow and build their immune capacity. The right food is what is truly beneficial while junk food causes the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in the guts.
The immune functions can become greatly compromised and weak against infections and toxins when kids are allowed to freely consume junk food. Do your child a favour, cut down on the treats and give more of healthier foods like fruits, sweet potatoes, fish and vegetables (to name a few).
Tags: Boost, child, Immune system
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