Strengthen your child's immunity at home
We all come into this world with an immunity which is not experienced. Gradually children help build their immunity by fighting germs, viruses and other infections. But developing healthy habits is an integral part of building immunity in children.
Tips to strengthen your child's immunity at home
Breast feed your baby: Breastfeeding is very essential for building your child’s immunity. Breast milk is full of antibodies which help prevent infections, allergies and even sudden infant death syndrome.
Ensure your child sleeps enough: Incomplete or disturbed sleep can make your child easily tired and it also makes your child more prone to infections or longer time to recover from illness. Newborns need atleast 18 hours of sleep, toddlers require 12 hours and preschool children need 10 hours of sleep.
Encourage your child to play more outdoors: With the advent of mobiles, computers, play stations or video games, there is also an increase with lifestyle diseases among children. Childhood obesity is one of them. So to help your child’s immunity, take them out for a small walk or to the park or play outdoor games together for some quality time along with that much needed exercise.
Go easy on conventional medicines: Frequent use of conventional medicines suppresses immunity and makes the body weak. Avoid medicating your children immediately when they fall sick unless it is actually needed. Give your child ‘s immune system to work and fight the infection. Adequate rest and home remedies would be more preferable than use of antibiotics. Frequent use of conventional medicines weakens the child’s immune system further and will their body resistant to many medicines.
Maintain a clean environment and best personal hygiene: Too much of nothing is good. Being exposed to some amount of pathogens is good for your child’s immunity. Exposure to pathogens helps to increase the immunity but over exposure to pathogens can make them fall sick. Maintaining personal hygiene by providing a clean environment to your child will help them to be healthy on most days of the year. Encourage your child to practice personal hygiene like brushing teeth twice a day, bathing and wearing clean clothes daily. This will make your child’s immune system stronger as they inculcate good hygiene. It is very normal for a toddler to suffer from 8 to 10 colds per year and this also helps to develop your child’s immune system. You cannot prevent your child from falling sick, but making them practice personal hygiene goes a long way in improving your child’s immunity.
Hand washing regularly: Unclean hands transmit almost 80 percent of infections. Teach your child to wash their hands after they use the washroom, touch dirty surfaces or touch the discharges when they sneeze or cough. Washing hands regularly can remove bacteria and viruses and can reduce the chance of respiratory infections.
Maintain a healthy diet: A healthy diet is the one which contains all the important nutrients. Foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acid, probiotic and carotenoids can help strengthen your child’s immunity. Guavas, oranges, kiwis, cauliflower, capsicum, papaya and strawberries are rich in vitamin C. Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and olives are rich in vitamin E. Walnuts, fish and soya bean is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Carrots are rich in carotenoids. Yogurt is the best probiotic.
Quit smoking for your child’s health: Children when regularly exposed to cigarette smoke become more prone colds, coughs and other respiratory problems. Children breathe at a faster rate than an adult so have greater tendency to inhale toxins from the cigarette smoke. This could be the best way for you to quit smoking too.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being: The best way to maintain a healthy immune system is love and attention. Children need to be appreciated, hugged, touched and kissed regularly. When they sense love and that the people they are living with love each other, they develop a great sense of security. Many studies have shown that laughter can stimulate the cells of the immune system. The more children laugh and enjoy their life; the better is the functioning of their immune system.
Exercise as a family: Go for walks in the park or encourage your child to go for a camp or trek. Let your child jump, dance, run or climb. Do not try to be over concerned or be too protective about your child. They will learn a lot from these experiences. Nature makes a child happy and is the best immune stimulator.