How to Boost your Child’s Immune System
Parents have children and are worried about them becoming sick because their immune systems are not that strong yet. This is why breastfeeding is so important because this is the number one food that helps to boost your newborn’s immune system so they are less likely to get sick when they get older. If you choose to bottle feed, then try and make your own baby food when they reach the 6-month stage and are ready for something more solid. Some children never get colds until they are close to one year of age with homemade baby food and fresh air. In addition, if they are the only child, they won’t be exposed to siblings germs from school. It’s also important to get them outside every day even if it’s a little cold out. As long as you are warm, the baby will be warm if you dress them in layers and walk them and keep their face covered. Fresh air keeps children from getting sick if they are dressed warm enough or cool enough in summer. Make sure no one smokes in the house or you risk the chance of compromising your child’s immune system. Keep the cigarettes outside, along with your smokey clothes.
When the kids are older make sure you give them plenty of fruits and vegetables. Give them foods that are high in vitamin C along with orange juice and other juices that are high in vitamin C. It’s a proven fact that higher doses of vitamin C keep colds away or they go away more quickly with higher doses of Vitamin C. Face it, kids are going to get sick once they start school but you can also help them not to get sick by keeping their immune system high. Vegetables and fruits contain phytonutrients which also help in the prevention of many diseases and cancer.
Make sure your children get enough sleep because if they don’t they will start wearing down their immune system and stress sets in and in no time they are sick. Be careful if you have kids in daycare because they seem to lack more sleep than children that stay at home. It might be hard for them to nap because other kids are crying so they become irritable. Toddlers need a good 18 hours, youngsters 12 to 13 hours of sleep and 4 and 5-year-olds need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day. Put your kids to bed early if they won’t nap.
Enough can’t be said about the importance of breast milk for your child’s immune system. Nursing stops many infections because breast milk contains more important nutrients than formula so this creates better antibodies and stronger white blood cells to help fight off the many infections children are prone to when they are young. If you can’t breastfeed for long, at least breastfeed for 2 to 3 months because some babies will wean themselves early.
If you can’t get out to exercise, try and get the whole family out after dinner and go for a walk or play hoops, run, jump or walk briskly. It’s important to get the heart rate up to burn calories and to avoid chronic illness with fresh air. You can also swim or bike ride with your family depending on how the weather is.
Teach your kids about germs and how to wash their hands every time they use the bathroom and before and after each meal. Talk about the importance of hygiene getting rid of germs and have them use soap to wash up. You can use wipes if you are away from the house or carry some antibacterial soap for a quick hand wash before a meal out. Towels come in all colors, shapes, and sizes and let your kids pick out their favorite color. This way they will know what towel is theirs for washing up and so will you when you wash the towels. Dispose of toothbrushes once a month and keep the toilet seat down if you keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. Germs fly all around once the toilet is flushed so by teaching them to put the lid down before they wash their hands is a good idea to keep toothbrushes safe.
Try not to smoke and if you do try to quit. Secondhand smoke contains many toxic chemicals that destroy cells in the body. If you don’t smoke and smell smoke from someone who smokes, this takes your breath away and also the breath of children. Smoking also causes allergies and asthma in small kids and they might have that problem for life. Secondhand smoke is a higher risk for SIDS which is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS is absolutely heartbreaking when this happens to a baby and a family.
Don’t encourage antibiotics because you don’t want your child to become immune to these and require higher doses or stronger antibiotics. Make sure you ask the doctor is their cold is bacterial or viral. Antibiotics don’t cure a virus but only cure bacterial infections. Most childhood illness is caused by viral infections. Some parents still try and push the doctor into writing an antibiotic because they think that is the answer and their child’s illness will go away faster so they can go back to work. A good doctor will not prescribe an antibiotic unless the disease is bacterial and doctors know the difference between a virus and a bacterial infection.
Some children rarely get sick and some children get sick all of the time. This is why it’s important to make sure your child is healthy and feed them the right foods to boost their immune system. Make sure they get enough rest, exercise and quit smoking. The good thing is almost all parks, all malls, and all events indoors are no smoking now so you won’t come home smelling like a cigarette. Try to get a few months in of breastfeeding if you can to give your child a good start in life.