Increasing child’s immunity

 
Contributed by : Palak Vyas, Dr Aliraza Khunt   
Increasing child’s immunity

Your child getting sick again and again does not mean that (s)he has a weaker immunity.

  • If the child gets sick again and again, the parent considers it as weak immunity but this is not true because every time a child falls sick, (s)he gets back to normal on their own so the immunity is fine. The immunity is weak when the child doesn’t heal and stays sick for long extended periods.
  • As a child grows, (s)he does not stay at one place or with just one person. This leads to a child getting exposed to outside environment and a lot of new people. Due to this, the chances of catching infections again and again are very high. And so the child falls sick frequently.
  • This does not mean that the immunity is less. In fact, the child should not be given medication again and again. The infection will be cured within a week as a child’s body learns to fight against outside germs. Fighting against germs will only make your child’s immunity stronger.
  • A child’s immunity completely develops by 5 to 7 years.


To increase your child's immunity:

  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Encourage exercise: It enhances immune system through stress-reduction. Thus encouraging your kids to opt for age-appropriate exercise regularly, will make them physically fit and support their immunity. Regular moderate intensity exercise increases child’s immunity.
  • Give them nutritious diet: Deficiencies of Vitamins A, C, E, B6 and Folate, are also associated with reduced immunity. Micro-nutrients such as Zinc, Selenium, Iron and Copper are also important in developing a healthy immune system. Thus, a properly balanced diet with all required nutrients is extremely important, especially in the growing years when the immune system is still maturing.
  • Inculcate healthy sleep habits: Sleep is a restorative process that plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the immune system. It is important to develop and follow a healthy and optimum sleep pattern for your children.
  • Serve more fruits and vegetables.
  • Develop a good habit of washing hands: You should pay particular attention to their hygiene before and after each meal and after playing outside, handling pets, blowing their nose, using the bathroom, and arriving home from daycare. When you're out, carry disposable wipes with you for quick cleanups. To help kids get into the hand-washing habit at home, let them pick out their own brightly coloured hand towels and soap in fun shapes, colours, and scents.
  • Keep your babies away from second hand smoke: If you or your spouse smokes, quit. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, most of which can irritate or kill cells in the body.



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