Why children need special attention when it comes to immune system health
Your body has a network of proteins and cells that comprise your immune system. The immune system battles infection-causing microorganisms. Viruses and bacteria are examples of germs that are sometimes referred to as “foreign.” They shouldn’t be inside our bodies, which is why. Your kid could get sick from germs. When a virus, bacteria, or other foreign substance enters the human body, the immune system kicks into high gear. White blood cells identify any foreign material that has entered the body’s tissues. The white blood cells activate the immune system’s other components, which also produce unique proteins called “antibodies.” The immune response, which battles the infection, is called this. The immune system can remember the germ or virus after antibodies have been produced against it.
The immune system in Babies:
When a new-born is born, their immune system is still developing. As the infant gets older, it gets stronger. For the duration of our lives, the body’s immune system protects us from pathogens. During the third trimester (the final three months of pregnancy), a mother’s antibodies are transferred to her unborn child through the placenta. The mother’s antibodies help to protect the new-born from infections at birth. Depending on the mother’s level of immunity, the sort of antibodies transmitted from mother to child will vary. Our immune system functions better when there are healthy bacteria in our gut. These beneficial bacteria are present in the vagina during childbirth and are transferred to the infant. As a result, the baby’s gut can begin to support healthy microorganisms.
Ways to boost a child’s immune system:
A strong immune system can be supported in several ways, including eating more veggies, getting adequate sleep, and washing your hands frequently. Here are eight strategies for boosting your child’s immune system.
1. Increase food and vegetable quantity in their diets:
Reach for colourful fruits and vegetables like carrots, green beans, oranges, and strawberries when bacteria knock. Carotenoids, phytonutrients that support immunity, are present in this bright substance. Phytonutrients may boost the body’s ability to produce interferon, an antibody that covers cell surfaces to inhibit viruses, and white blood cells that fight infections. According to research, eating a diet high in phytonutrients may prevent chronic diseases, including adult cancer and heart disease. Encourage your kid to consume five portions of fruits and vegetables each day.
2. Elevate their sleeping time:
Adults who lack sleep may be more vulnerable to sickness because they have fewer natural killer cells, part of immune system defences targeting bacteria and cancer cells. Children are not exempt from this. Nursery children are especially vulnerable to sleep deprivation because of how challenging it can be for them to take naps due to all the activity. Check the nap schedule at your child’s creche again, and if necessary, put your child to bed early to ensure they get enough rest. How much sleep do kids require, then? For example, infants may need to be on the cot for up to 16 hours a day, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours, and pre-schoolers need 10 to 13 hours.
3. Breastfeed as much as possible:
White blood cells and immune-booster antibodies are turbocharged in breast milk. As a result, nursing protects against illnesses like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, allergies, diarrhoea, pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract infections. According to studies, it may also improve your child’s mental development and shield them from developing conditions like insulin-dependent diabetes, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and some types of cancer in the future. Colostrum, the thin, yellow “pre-milk” that emerges from the breasts in the early days following delivery, is particularly rich in antibodies that fend against disease. For the first six months of life, parents are advised to breastfeed their children only. If you can’t make this commitment, try to breastfeed for at least the first two to three months to help your baby retain the immunity it acquired while still inside you.
4. Exercise as a unit:
Exercise has been shown to enhance the number of killer cells that are produced in adults, and regular exercise has the same positive effects on children. Be an excellent role model for developing lifelong fitness habits for your children. Instead of just telling kids to go outdoors and play, exercise with them. Make the father an active part of their playtime, this will ensure engagement and bonding.
5. Get them vaccinated on time:
Your child’s immune system can remain primed and prepared to fight off harmful viruses like the ones that produce meningitis, polio, and chicken pox if their recommended childhood vaccines are kept up to date. Through vaccinations, your child’s immune system is trained to recognize specific bacteria and viruses that they may meet, preparing them to fight them off. Speak to your child’s paediatrician if you have questions about immunizations. Finding a paediatrician, you can rely on and who can address your concerns is crucial. Your child’s paediatrician may provide further information about vaccinations, including how they work, which shots are essential for your kid, and helpful links. Additionally, remember to keep your vaccines up to date.
6. Educate them about good hygiene:
Children play close quarters with other kids and lack proper cleanliness, which is one of the primary causes that they get more coughs and colds. Because germs can travel quickly, teaching your kid to sneeze into a tissue and shield their mouths when coughing is essential. Children should be taught the value of sanitizing their hands before and after using the lavatory. By taking these steps, bugs and bacteria will be killed, and their ability to spread will be reduced. If someone in your home is sick, wash towels and bedding at 65°C and disinfect surfaces more frequently than usual.
7. Minimize sugar in their diet:
The immune system suffers when consuming a diet hefty in refined sugar. This is partially due to studies showing that excessive sugar intake can prevent your body from properly absorbing the immunity-boosting vitamin C. Children ages 4-6 shouldn’t have more than 19g of added sugar daily, and kids ages 7 to 10 shouldn’t consume more than 24g. In addition, try to minimize how often your kids consume cakes, candies, chocolate, carbonated beverages, cookies, and ice cream.
Because they are still growing, children’s immune systems might not be as robust as those of adults. Children are more prone to disease because they are more likely to encounter novel viruses and bacteria while they explore their environment. This is why it’s so important to pay strict attention to children’s immune systems by giving them a balanced diet, lots of rest, and vaccinations to guard them against dangerous illnesses. To lessen the chance of illnesses spreading, parents and other carers should also promote appropriate hygiene practises, such as frequent hand washing. These actions can support kids’ immune systems, keep them healthy, and make them happy.
Frequently asked questions:
How can I boost my child’s immune system?
There are several strategies to strengthen a child’s immune system, including feeding them a nutritious diet, promoting regular physical activity, making sure they get enough sleep, encouraging good cleanliness, immunising them, etc.
What are the signs of a weak immune system in children?
Children with weakened immune systems may experience numerous infections and diseases. Frequent infections, sluggish recovery from illnesses, persistent diarrhoea, stunted growth, eczema and infections, allergic responses, and other symptoms are some indications that your child may have a weakened immune system.
Which foods boost immunity in children?
Numerous foods can help strengthen a child’s immune system. Citrus fruits, yoghurt, berries, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and protein-packed foods are a few examples. It is crucial to remember that maintaining the immune system of your kid requires a balanced and varied diet.
Which drink is best for children’s immunity?
The healthiest beverage for young children’s immune systems is water. The immune system must be well-hydrated to work properly. Water also aids in the removal of toxins from the body and maintains the moisture of the skin and mucous membranes in the digestive and respiratory systems, reducing the risk of infections.