It’s an inevitable situation that you can try your best to avoid but it will still affect your life. Your child is going to get sick. As their bodies grow, they are introduced to all sorts of bacteria, germs and other illness-triggering properties. Whether they simply pick up a bug from being outside or catch something in the classroom, you’ll want to help them recover quickly. Treating them is good but helping to prevent the illness is better. But there are ways to help limit childhood illnesses and build up their immunity. Here are eight ways to help strengthen your child’s immune system.
Breastmilk not only contains your baby’s daily nutrients but also properties for good health. Illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia and ear infections can all be delayed with the use of breastmilk in your baby’s diet. This is because breastmilk is rich with antibodies that fight disease and can even prevent allergies from developing.
Increase the Produce
There’s a reason why fruits and vegetables are cited time and again as beneficial for a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just adults that benefit from clean eating. Children’s bodies also get great use from the nutrients found in vegetables, like carotenoids and vitamin C. These types of food also contain elements called phytonutrients. These improve the body’s production of white blood cells (a body’s natural defense) and also interferons, which helps repel viruses.
Getting the proper amount of sleep is a necessity for everyone, no matter what age. Children, however, need sleep to help their bodies replenish energy and recover from the day’s activities. Sleep deprivation has been known to contribute to the development of various illnesses. To help your child get the right amounts of sleep, you may need to include daytime naps.
Children tend to like group activities and will mimic the behavior of those around them. Keeping that in mind, you can be an excellent role model by exercising with them. Instead of only telling your child how and when to exercise, make it a shared activity. Regular exercise promotes healthy breathing, blood circulation and helps lower the risk of obesity.
Beware of Germs
While not a direct link to boosting your child’s immunity, having good hygiene is a great way to stay healthy. Germs are any infectious organism that can get inside our bodies through the air or even spread by touch. That’s why it’s very important to instruct and guide your children on proper hygiene habits. Be sure to teach them how to properly brush their teeth, bathe, carefully and completely wash their hands—being mindful of any dirt that lingers under the fingernails—and how to wipe their noses.
One of the best ways to improve your child’s immunity is to quit smoking. Even smoking outside or in a different room can still introduce roughly 4,000 toxins found in cigarette smoke. Because children breathe faster than adults, they inhale more toxins at a quicker pace while their growing bodies do not have the needed internal filtration system. Among the side effects of secondhand smoke are asthma, ear infections and even SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Have a Balanced Diet
As children grow, you’ll learn not only what they like to eat but also what their bodies can tolerate. Foods that are high in sugar or extremely processed only add chemically-created preservatives and other additives to their diets. These can stimulate food intolerances and allergic reactions. Food allergies disrupt digestion, which causes inflammation and a weaker immune system response. Offering more balanced food options, with whole nuts and fresh fruits will provide much better benefits.
Let the Fever Work
A sick body is a hot body and this fever is actually a great help. Most people’s first reaction to a high-temperature reading is to break the fever. But fevers are the body’s natural defense against your child’s illness. The fever is an indication that your child is sick but that his body is trying hard to fight it. Rather than trying to cool him down, monitor the fever and symptoms. Be sure to check with your family physician if the fever lasts too long.