Children are more susceptible to infections and diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. This is because of their developing, yet immature immune system. A functional and healthy immune system is key to reducing sicknesses and maintaining overall general health. Here are 5 star tips to boost their immune system.
Nutrition is not the sole aim of breastfeeding. From the onset of nursing to weaning and adulthood, breastmilk plays an important role in the health of a child. This in adulthood could be manifested in stronger immune system, healthier respiratory and gastrointestinal system and lesser risk of contacting diseases.
After birth, antibodies through the colostrum are passed from mother’s milk to baby. Throughout the breastfeeding period, antibodies developed as a result of mother’s contact with antigens are passed to baby through the breastmilk. This serves as a firsthand protection for baby against the particular disease or infection.
✔ Routine immunization
Although breastfeeding plays a great role in the nutrition and immunity system of baby, it does not guarantee against certain life threatening infections and diseases like polio, diphtheria, measles etc. This is why it is important to get children vaccinated against infections on a routine basis.
Vaccination is the introduction of certain antigenic materials (disease causing bacteria) to the baby’s body in a bid to stimulate immune response. This means that the immune system is prepared to fight against such infection in future. There are routine vaccinations scheduled for babies from birth to toddlerhood and sometimes to age 5 or 6. Each has a vital role to play in the immune backup of the child.
✔ Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements.
Children should be introduced to an array of healthy nutritious food not only to avoid malnutrition but to enhance their developing immune system. A nutrient deficient system may not effectively produce the right immune response. Hence, parents should opt for adequate nutrition as a firsthand technique in boosting children’s immune system. Studies have claimed that the inclusion of certain deficient nutrients to diets can restore immune function and increase resistance to infections.
As a complement to energy giving food sources, fruits and veggies, proteins and nuts rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B12, folic acid, vitamin C, iron, zinc, riboflavin and others should be consumed by children in the right proportion.
Children who are obviously lacking certain nutrients as a result of picky eating, sickness or allergic reactions can be given certain multivitamin supplements. You should consult your child’s pediatrician if you think your child needs a supplement. It is not safe to administer supplements without the doctor’s consent.
✔ Hygienic Habits
From a very early age, children should be introduced and encouraged to healthy and hygienic habits like hand-washing, teeth brushing, nail cutting and general body and environment cleanliness. The hand alone carries thousands of bacteria daily and the best bet to prevent the ingestion and spread of germs is to wash hands after play, using the toilet, before and after eating and at every necessary instances.
Dirty environment breeds infection causing bacteria. Hence, it is important that children live in a healthy environment bereft of pests, odors, irritants and pollution.
Sleep is the mini death with a renewed awakening necessary for the continuation of body functions. Evidences supports that the body’s immune system are more active during sleep. Little wonder why it is said that sleep is necessary for healing.
Children need more sleep time than adults because of their developing physical and mental development. Quality sleep enhances their body’s immunity system functions just as sleep deprivation decreases it. If your child has more hospital visit than you think necessary, you may want to check her sleep routine as a measure to improve her body’s defense system.
Sicknesses and infections are not a totally destructive experience for a child. In fact, they help to develop and strengthen children’s immune system. There is no tip or medical advice that guarantees that a child would never fall sick. Limiting the frequency and avoiding the riskier infections should be parent’s ideal goal.