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How to Boost a Child’s Immune System

Our immune system is built to fight infection and prevent us from bacteria and viruses. With a weakened immune system, we are more fragile and susceptible to colds, flu, or other severe illnesses.

We all are surrounded by viruses and germs in our everyday lives, and this stimulation will actually improve our children’s immune system. “The majority of childhood illnesses are caused by viruses,” indicated by Howard Bauchner, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and public health at the Boston University School of Medicine.

In the situation of COVID19, parents of young children are very concerned about boosting their children’s immune systems. This article includes some simple tips on how to boost a child’s immune system. Even though it is aimed towards children around the ages of 13 and under. Teens and adults can also really benefit and boost their own immune systems as well. 

Healthy Diet

There is no alternative to a healthy diet for increasing children’s immunity. Vegetables, fruits, pulses, and meat (or meat substitutes) all should be included. Sears, W. (1999). author of The Family Nutrition Book  says  Greens, Cruciferous Vegetables, Oranges, Lemons, Clementines, etc., are great for building immunity. They all are a good source of carotenoids, which are immunity increasing phytonutrients. As well as the great source of vitamin C.

Vitamins

Go for delicious gummy vitamins, children love those. Give them the recommended dosage after a specific meal, like breakfast as it is the most important one of the day. No parent can go wrong with incorporating multi-vitamins in their child’s regime. Of course, unless the doctor says no, maybe because the child might be taking other medications. Go for a checkup and see if your child can take multi-vitamins if you are nervous. 

Maintain Good Sleeping Schedule of Your Kids

The studies have indicated that sleep is directly associated with our immune system. A tired and fatigued child with improper sleep and rest has weak immunity. The National Sleep Foundation along with the help of sleep experts and experts from a variety of organizations, have come together and have piled the recommended hours of sleep people need.

National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Duration Recommendations:

AgeRecommendationMaybe AppropriateNot Recommended
Newborns
0-3 months
14 to 17 hours11 to 13 hours
18 to 19 hours
Less than 11 hours
More than 19 hours
Infants
4-11 months
12 to 15 hours10 to 11 hours
16 to 18 hours
Less than 10 hours
More than 18 hour
Toddlers
1-2 years
11 to 14 hours9 to 10 hours
15 to 16 hours
Less than 9 hours
More than 16 hours
Preschoolers
3-5 years
10 to 13 hours8 to 9 hours
14 hours
Less than 8 hours
More than 14 hours
School-aged Children
6-13 years
9 to 11 hours7 to 8 hours
12 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 12 hours
Teenagers
14-17 years
8 to 10 hours7 hours
11 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 11 hours
Young Adults
18-25 years
7 to 9 hours6 hours
10 to 11 hours
Less than 6 hours
More than 11 hours
Adults
26-64 years
7 to 9 hours6 hours
10 hours
Less than 6 hours
More than 10 hours
Older Adults
≥ 65 years
7 to 8 hours5 to 6 hours
9 hours
Less than 5 hours
More than 9 hours

If you don’t already, it is always best to set up a bed time for your child as that creates a proper sleep cycle, and that every night the child knows when they need to get to bed, so you can be sure your child gets enough sleep especially for those who have school.

Hygiene

Indeed, fighting with germs does not improve immunity; however, it reduces stress on children’s immune systems. Develop a healthy habit of self-care in children washing hands with soaps frequently, using masks, keeping distance are the best practices for boosting immunity. Take excellent care of your child’s belongings such as towels, brushes, and nail trimmers, change them after some time and keep them clean and washed. Make sure the food is clean, the fruits and vegetables are washed properly.

No Junk Foods

Say goodbye to oily, sugar-rich, and other junk foods. It doesn’t have to be forever, just give it to them from time to time, like during birthdays, special occasions or pick a day once a month and let them enjoy. They are kids after all, and when they see other kids, they’d for sure want some. Heck, we even crave them sometimes. 

Children are undoubtedly crazy for fast foods, but for their health, and fewer risks of getting infections and strengthening their immune systems, there has to be a compromise. 

Go for Vaccinations

Do not compromise on the vaccinations of your kids, make sure their vaccinations are complete. If anyone is missing, go for it without any delay. It is also better for your children to get the flu and cold vaccine in winter to avoid severe sickness. And most importantly, DO NOT LISTEN to anti-vaxxers. It’s your child’s health we’re talking about. We listen to the opinions of experts of whom are doctors, not other people’s opinions and unreliable facts.

Exercise Should be Your Priority

The researchers have also recommended regular exercise to raise the number of natural killer cells in adults. Parents should model good exercising habits and motivate their children to do the same for better, healthier, and longer lives.  You can plan several activities with your children such as biking, hiking, playing football, cricket, and tennis, keeping your kids physically active and boost their immune system and overall health.

Strong Bonding and Pleasant Environment

Parents and children’s healthy and robust bonding is essential for a pleasant and healthy home environment. Children can communicate their ideas, desires and feelings to their parents without any hesitation; it will reduce their stress level and boost their immunity, leading towards good health. Enjoy children’s company, read good books, watch movies, and spend qualitative time with them. Make sure there is no tension in the room, as children can sense a change in atmosphere.

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