10 methods to boost your child's immune system

When you're a parent, you'll want to do all you can to keep your little one safe. One key way to achieve this is to boost their immune system. When it comes to your children's health, many of the methods you'd apply to yourself will work for your little ones too.

Maintain a good diet

child eating healthy food to maintain healthy immune system

If you want to keep your kids healthy, they'll need regular excellent nourishment. Try to make sure they eat from all the main food groups. And although there's no need to ban them from snacks entirely, you should limit the amount of junk they consume.

Wherever possible, provide your children with fresh food. As one of the biggest parenting challenges, helping them stay on top of their vitamins and nutrients may sometimes feel like a struggle. If your little ones dislike certain fruit and veggies, try giving them a multivitamin too. 

Vary fruits and vegetables

While we're on the topic of fruits and vegetables, it's worth exploring how to get more from them. As a good basic rule, try to help your kids eat a rainbow. In doing so, they're more likely to consume all the vitamins and minerals they need.

If your little ones don't feel excited by the thought of fruits and veggies, try making them some smoothies instead. Even better still, hide their veggies in your cooking. By helping them get more, you're providing them with antioxidants. As a result, their immune system should grow stronger.

Drink plenty of water

 

If you're looking for an easy way to maintain your children's health, drinking water is it. Water is an essential blood component. When your blood is in a good way, it'll carry oxygen to your body's tissues. It also carries toxins away, which makes it easier for the liver and kidneys to do their job.

In a world of juices and sodas, water isn't always a big priority for little ones. To make your life easier, try enticing them with a fun bottle. Scheduling time to drink water hydrate and adding fruit to water are other easy ways to help them get more.

Reduce stress and anxiety

Although you may feel as though parenting is more stressful than being a kid, your little ones may feel differently. Children are just as likely to encounter stress and anxiety as us adults are. And when they do, their immune systems take a hit.

When your little ones feel stressed, they'll produce more cortisol. As cortisol begins to make its way around their body, it'll have a negative effect on their immune system. One way to offset this is to encourage them to talk to you about their problems. Additionally, make sure you leave them with plenty of time to play and blow off steam.

Maintain a good sleeping pattern

baby and dad sleeping

When you sleep, you produce proteins called cytokines. Those cytokines are essential for keeping your immune system strong. When you have enough of them, you strengthen your guard against pathogens and feel healthier as a result.

As any parent will know, encouraging a child to sleep isn't always easy. They're hardly likely to appreciate the beauty of cytokines, especially when there's playing to do! To make life easier for them, try to establish a sleep routine. Waking and going to bed at the same time are excellent starting points, as it acts as a guide for their circadian rhythm.

Get regular exercise

Children love playing, which means they should naturally get some exercise. But when yours would rather read a book or hop onto a games console, they may not be moving around as much as they need to. When your little ones exercise, they produce more white blood cells. As their white blood cells act as an early form of defence against infections, they need plenty of them.

If you want to help your little one get moving, try spending more time playing outdoors. You could also sign them up for a local team sport. Finally, consider finding ways to tie their fitness in with other childhood essentials. Learning to swim and learning to ride a bike both count as exercise. 

Get immunisations

From early in their life, your little one will have the chance to benefit from a vaccination schedule. By following it, you help their immune system recognise and battle against deadly pathogens.

Most childhood vaccinations won't cause a reaction. However, it is normal for your child to have a bit of a temperature following certain ones. For your reassurance, use a Fevermates strip for temperature monitoring. Their fever shouldn't go too high, but if it does, you can always ask a medical professional for advice.

Vigilance during outbreaks

Your local health board will likely provide information on disease outbreaks that are near to you. Although coming into contact with pathogens helps your child's immune system recognise them, you don't want to expose them unnecessarily. Each sniffle they catch weakens their immunity against anything more deadly in the nearby area.

Naturally, you can't protect your child against all nearby viruses. But you can care for them when they catch one. In addition to temperature monitoring, make sure you keep them well-hydrated and comfortable.

Dressing for the weather

There's no direct link between being cold and catching a cold. However, scientists do recognise that having an elevated body temperature can help make some immune cells work better. Additionally, there's evidence to suggest that being in environments that are less than 5 degrees Celsius has a negative impact on your body temperature. 

With that evidence in mind, make sure you always dress your little one for the weather. By keeping the cold away from them, you're making sure their immune system does its job.

Practice good hygiene

maintain good hygiene for child

Finally, make sure your child understands good hand hygiene. Keeping their hands clean after they go to the toilet and after they sneeze offers a lot of protection. You can even find child-friendly hand sanitisers for when your little ones are out and about.

With a little vigilance and some positive lifestyle changes, you can boost your child's immunity. By using a Fevermates temperature strip, you can also monitor their health when they're feeling unwell.


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