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Newborns enter this world with an inexperienced immune system. With time children fight different diseases and get their resistance prepared. Thus, it is perfectly typical for a child to develop 6 to 8 episodes of upper respiratory infections in a year.
A child is continuously exposed to disease-producing organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites. Although a simple exposure does not mean that your child will fall sick, a strong immune system provides the child with a natural defense against diseases. It is vital for a child to obtain mild diseases and create lifelong immunity against a few infections. In any case, on the off chance that a child is excessively susceptible to diseases, his/her immune system may ought to be boosted. The simplest yet important way to boost a child’s immunity is to give him/her the necessary vaccinations. Hygiene techniques, particularly hand washing, also play an important role in reducing the stress on a child’s immune system. Hence, children should be taught the importance of hand washing at home and school.
Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and continuing to feed at least for a year or two after that, is significant to protect the baby against diseases and to give him/her the nutrition he/she needs. Breast milk contains many antibodies and white blood cells that will protect the baby from ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infections, etc.
Healthy Diet is important for their entire immune system.
Essential nutrients that stimulate a strong immune system include vitamin A, C, E, and D, as well as minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Copper, etc. All these nutrients can be obtained from a wholesome diet. In case of picky eaters, a course of vitamin supplements can be given after discussing with the doctor. Since the dietary source of vitamin D is very limited, children should be encouraged to play outdoors to make sure that a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure happens daily.
Regular activity such as football, cycling, swimming, jumping, running, climbing, etc. is found to increase the number of natural killer cells in children and, hence enhancing their immunity. As a parent, exercising with your children is a good option than just urging them to go outside and play.
Lack of sleeping makes a child susceptible to illnesses by reducing the natural killer cells. A child’s body regenerates and renews itself while sleeping. A school going child should get a minimum of 7 to 8 hrs. of sleep daily to be active and healthy.
In addition to these, exposure to chemicals, toxins, radiations and spending a lot of time indoors breathing the stale recirculated air can suppress a child’s immunity. Taking care of the child’s environment will help to boost up their immunity.
Parent should reduce the child’s stress levels by loving them unconditionally, holding, hugging and kissing them often, giving them lots of down time, time for creative play or times of rest, encouraging them to laugh more and develop a positive attitude towards life. Reducing the level of stress hormones in a child’s body helps boost up their immunity. Parents should understand that ‘All fevers are not bad’ and ‘Antibiotics are not needed for all fevers’. These small innocuous infections, in fact, help to build a child’s immunity for a better tomorrow.
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