It’s sometimes easy to think that runny noses and coughs are just part of being a kid. This is especially true during the winter months, here in Gilbert Arizona, when it might seem like your child always has just a touch of a cold or flu. Even when they are able to finally kick their illness, it doesn’t seem long before they’re under the weather again.
The truth is, it could be that your child’s immune system isn’t working at full capacity. This could be because their immune system is still inexperienced and not fully developed. Or, it could be that they are missing out on some key immune system boosts that can make a significant difference.
Here are 5 things you can do to help boost your child’s immune system:
Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Sleep
It’s true that most kids aren’t getting enough sleep it night. Research shows that kids need anywhere between 10 and 14 hours of sleep every day depending on their age. A lack of sleep can make kids more susceptible to illness, reducing their ability to fight off sickness. Make sure that they get the sleep they need by encouraging naps and enforcing proper bedtimes.
When your child is getting daily exercise, they have a stronger ability to fight off illness. Exercise can increase the effectiveness of white blood cells ability to stave off infection. It also increases the number of “killer cells” that work inside the body to fight off unhealthy cells. Children who exercise regularly are less likely to become obese, which has the ability to depress the immune system.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Not only do fruits and vegetables supply our bodies with the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy, they also deliver antioxidants, which protect tissue from damage. This protection makes the body less susceptible to infection and illness. Fruits and vegetables also contain a high level of vitamin C, which offers a natural boost to the immune system.
Reduce Anxieties and Stress
As children experience an abundance of anxiety in their lives, their immune system response to infection is lowered. The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. When these stress level hormones are sustained for long periods of time, it has an adverse effect on the immune system. These days, it is easy for kids to become stressed or overworked. Be sure, as their parent, you’re providing them with time and space to unwind.
Pay Attention to Hygiene
A better overall hygiene can be a sort of boost to the immune system. Be sure your kids are washing their hands on a regular basis using soap and warm water to kill bacteria. Watch them especially before and after meal times and when they come in from playing outside. If they have been sick, get them a new toothbrush to avoid picking up the same illness twice.
Be sure to bring your child to AllKids Urgent Care at either our Mesa or Gilbert locations when they have been sick for extended period of time. Even a quick wellness check can help us identify issues that may require a more aggressive approach to their illness.