Boosting a Child’s Immune System
It all starts with what we eat. Studies show that a diet rich in phytonutrients can increase the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody the coasts cell surfaces blocking out viruses. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Sugar has also been shown to actually suppress immunity so try to limit the intake of sugar and focus instead of whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and proteins.
Most children are not getting the required amount of sleep. Depending on age, children need between 10 and 14 hours of sleep a night. Studies of adults show that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells and the same holds true for children. To help aid sleep (and good quality sleep), make sure your child’s room is dark, keep all electronics out of their bedroom while they sleep, and put them to bed as early as needed to ensure they get the proper amount of sleep time each night.
Research shows that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults and that regular activity can benefit kids in the same way. Exercise with them to help them see that a lifelong habit is possible, and they will see that activity can be fun! Try bike riding, hiking, basketball, or any group sport that you might all enjoy. Get the whole family outside enjoying the fresh air, the vitamin D from the sunshine, and the exercise needed to improve overall immunity.
In today’s fast-paced world, parents are overstressed and children are over-scheduled. Everyone can suffer, especially when it comes to your health. It’s important for children to have some downtime to play, be creative, and simply rest. Busy bodies need to take a break every now and then for their immune systems to thrive. Try not to over-schedule your children with after school activities every day, give them weekend time to read, play, or just rest. This will keep them calmer and ready for the school week and keep their bodies healthy and thriving.
Fighting germs doesn’t technically boost immunity, but it’s a great way to reduce stress on your child’s immune system so make sure your children wash their hands often with warm soapy water. You should pay particular attention to their hygiene habits before and after eating, after playing outside or with pets, blowing their nose, and when using the bathroom. Have them sing the alphabet song twice through while scrubbing with soap to make sure they’re getting all the germs off their hands.
Getting sick seems to be a child’s job and fighting off certain infections does help boost the immune system against those same issues in the future, but following a few certain steps can keep your kids healthier and happier in the long run.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
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