Child's Immunity Boosting Home Remedies and Prevention Tactics
Created by Anurima Updated on Dec 17, 2020
‘Mummy, my nose is blocked and I cannot breath! Do something!’ is a phrase I hear every few months since the time my child started talking. The minute I hear those words, I get into a panic mode fearing what is to follow- cough, which will last for weeks, runny nose and fever to name a few ailments. Then begins the ritual of making warm soups; repeated blowing of nose; washing of hands several times; keeping the medicines handy and gearing up for a few sleepless nights.
With the onset of winter, the thought that my child may fall prey to the seasonal flu is not something I look forward to. I hear this as a fear shared by my fellow parents as well. A couple of questions I hear from fellow parents and even wonder myself are -
How do I prevent my child from falling ill so often? How can I boost my child’s immune system?
I decided to look up for some simple home remedies and prevention tactics which can help your child fight off those seasonal germs, strengthen his/her immunity and well, give you some peace of mind J
List of handy Immunity Boosting Tips/Ideas:
1. A healthy diet: A balanced diet, rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega 3, Carotenoids and Probiotics can help strengthen your child’s immunity. So which foods should you include in your child’s diet to ensure that he/she gets the required amount of the above boosters?
Vitamin C: Guavas, Papayas, Oranges, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kiwis, Bell Peppers (Capsicum) and Strawberries to name a few
Vitamin E: Spinach, Tofu, Almonds, Olive Oil, Broccoli, Squash and Pumpkin
Omega 3: Walnuts, Fish (Salmon & Sardines), Soybeans, Tofu and Shrimps.
Carotenoids: Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Carrots, Broccoli and Pumpkin
Probiotics: Yogurt is one of the best source
2. Breast feed your baby: Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to boost immunity in your child right from the start. Breast milk contains plenty of antibodies which help reduce the risk of infections, allergies, urinary tract infections and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
3. Ensure adequate sleep: Sleep deprivation can make your child chronically tired, which then increases the risk of catching an infection or a longer recovery period. Newborns need up to 18 hours of sleep, toddlers 12 to 13 hours and preschoolers need up to 10 hours of sleep. If your child does not like to nap or has difficulty in sleeping, speaking to his/her paediatrician could help you find a solution.
4. Keep vaccinations up to date: Vaccines provide immunity to many childhood illnesses. It is advisable to follow the recommended vaccines at the appropriate age and frequency. Some doctors also recommend additional vaccines under special circumstances and they may be administered depending on the situation and weighing the pros and cons.
5.Exercise: Encourage your child to play outdoors. As per research, regular activity for 30 minutes can cut your child’s risk of catching a cold by 50%. So head out for a small stroll or accompany your child to the park or play games together for some quality time along with that much needed exercise.
6. Reduce exposure to second hand smoke: Children who are regularly exposed to second hand smoke are more prone to ear infections, bronchitis, coughs, colds and other respiratory problems. Cigarette smoke is known to linger on in furnishings and upholstery such as sofas, carpets, bed linen and curtains long after the cigarette has been put off. Small children breathe at a faster rate and inhale more toxins (as much as 4000 different types of known toxins) than an adult. To limit your child’s exposure to second hand smoke, you may do the following:
Keep the house a smoke free zone.
Request all smokers to smoke outside the house and well away from the children.
7. Go easy on medication: Regular use of medicines supresses immunity and weakens the body. You may avoid medicating your child immediatly as s/he falls sick, unless it is necessary or prescribed by the Doctor. Frequent use of antibiotics can seriously weaken your child’s immune system and also, at times may make the body resistant to the medicine itself.
8. Providing with a clean environment and maintaining hygiene: Exposure to pathogens increases immunity but over exposure to them has the opposite effect on the immune system. Keeping the home environment clean; encouraging frequent washing of the hands; practising personal hygiene such as brushing teeth twice a day, replacing the toothbrush every few months, bathing and wearing clean clothes are some of the best ways to keep your child healthy and also a good way to inculcate hygienic practices.
As your child grows, his/her immune system will also get stronger. In the meanwhile, I hope that the above tips shall help you improve your child’s health and boost his/her immunity. It is common for a toddler to suffer from 8 to 10 colds per year and this too, in a way, helps develop your child’s immune system. You may not be able to prevent your child from falling sick, but making a few lifestyle changes may go a long way in improving your child’s immunity and keeping your family healthy.
| Dec 23, 2013
I was worried for my child's falling sick several times. Yes I used to switch to medications immediately. Thank you for the information and also for listing out the nutrients with foods they available in. Shall make note to give him. Btw can u or anyone here share in wat form can we give toddlers these nutrition. You all know how they are at eating. Would appreciate if any suggestions!
| Dec 30, 2013
Hey Shazia, you can take a look at this following blog on important nutrients and in which foods to find them. Hope it helps: https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/is-it-important-to-follow-the-food-pyramid-for-your-child/256
| May 08, 2014
ravi, u can feed all nuts once ur child is 1 year old. but pl take care of choking hazards. better to soak overnight,peel and make a paste out of badam and make a dry fruits milk shake with badam,cashew,pista,honey,figs,dates walnuts etc. ,my daughter loves it. avoid sugar in any form for kids....
| Jul 02, 2015
Hi Neena This blog may be of some help to you- https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/help-my-child-is-underweight/381
| Dec 04, 2016
hey guys want to share my experience.... tulsi juice with honey in empty stomach helps a lot for increasing immunity... and 2nd something like chawanprash in cold... my son suffers from heavy cold in every 2 months n always dr. puts injection which is very painful... so I m trying everything to increase my baby's immunity.... thanks parentune for ur guidelines...
| Dec 04, 2016