How To Increase Immunity In Children
How To Increase Immunity In Children
Since my son started nursery in September for a few days a week, he has already been ill several times – this is usual for many children. After birth, the baby begins to build up acquired immunity. After each encounter with previously unknown viruses and bacteria, an immune response is triggered and the body looks for the best way to defend itself against the attack.
After each illness, the child's defences are a little stronger, because he remembers the "enemy" and next time he can defend himself better and faster. This immunity is still undeveloped at birth and must gradually mature. It undergoes the greatest development in the first 3 years of life but continues to develop into adulthood. I remember that my daughter was also sick very often and stayed at home with something almost every other week. Every year it got better and the days when she was sick were diminishing.
The risk period in terms of immunity is the onset of winter and with it cold days, humid days as well as dry weather. A baby can catch a bacillus and its immune system can fight it slowly until spring. A well-functioning immune system is very powerful in healthy children and can protect the child's body from dangerous viruses. The immune system needs to be supported.
What can you do to strengthen your child's immunity?
Immunity is affected by diet. The child's body needs all the important nutrients for its growth, but also for the proper functioning of the immune system. Healthy food all year round should be the basis. In winter and during flu epidemics, it is good to increase the proportion of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet for high doses of vitamins. We should also include foods which are rich in minerals, especially zinc and selenium in our children's diet, which contribute to the proper function of organs and strengthen children's immunity. Selenium contains for example - garlic, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, tuna, seafood or cereal sprouts. Zinc contains for example - pumpkin seeds, eggs, cereal sprouts or meat. Immunity is also supported by sour milk products, yoghurts, kefir, acidophilic milk. They support the proper intestinal microflora, and thus the natural bacterial barriers in the body. Another important component of the diet is fibre.
However, we should limit the amount of sweets or fast food for our children (and for us).
Good quality and long sleep strengthen children's immunity. When sleep-deprived, children are more prone to infections. Children can be irritated, moody, and paradoxically suffer from insomnia and increased illness when they lack sleep. The younger the child, the more sleep he needs. Children should go to bed in a well-ventilated room that is not overheated.
An important step to strengthen immunity is regular motion. In the summer, children usually have enough exercise, but with colder days, we spend most of our time indoors. It is healthy to sweat and breathe fresh air at least once a day. Fresh winter air promotes blood circulation to the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract, eyes and ears.
It is also important to strictly observe the hygiene habits of children – for instance, frequent hand washing before eating and when coming home. Viruses are held on the hands, which are removed by warm water and soap. I also read the recommendation that we should change the toothbrush for children after an illness. Also, be aware of passive smoking which can contribute to bronchitis, ear infections and asthma. Cigarette smoke, which the child inhales, also irritates the respiratory tract and kills cells in the body. Children are much more prone to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke because they breathe faster. Cigarette smoke that a child inhales irritates the airways and kills cells in the body.
Hardening children is another very effective step to strengthen immunity. Hardening is not just about showering with cold water, like some of us imagined. But it’s also about lowering the temperature in the house. The optimal temperature in rooms during the day should be about 22 degrees and at night the heating should be turned off. A gradual decrease in water temperature in the bath when bathing children can help to increased immunity. In a similar way, our kids should not have too much clothing when they go outside. Another part of hardening for kids can be the sauna. Sauna relaxes and cleanses the airways, increases the number of cells that can kill bacteria and viruses. Sauna allows children to calm down, improve their heart rate and increase their appetite. But remember only older children are allowed in a very hot sauna.
Essential aroma oils contain substances that strengthen the body's defences. They can have an antibacterial and antiviral effect. Recommended in aromatherapy are 100% natural oils from lavender, spruce, pine, tea tree, myrtle, thyme and eucalyptus. When using an aroma lamp, just three to four drops of essential oil in a small amount of water are enough.