Health alert: How to Build Strong Immunity in Your Child
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Mar 01, 2020
One of the biggest concerns a mother has about her child is poor immunity. Weather changes, increase in pollution, exposure to extreme hot or cold conditions etc. are some reasons because of which children end up falling sick frequently. External factors are something over which we have no control. However, we definitely can control boosting the child’s immunity by maintaining proper hygiene at home.
Tips to Build Strong Immune System in Your Baby
If you have a newborn, a toddler or a school going child, here are some simple remedies that can help fight off those seasonal germs, strengthen his/her immunity and well, give you some peace of mind. Here goes the list of a few handy tips:
#1. A Healthy Diet:
A balanced diet, rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega 3, and anti-oxidants such as carotenoids and probiotics can help strengthen your child’s immunity. These are available in fruits and vegetables such as guavas, papayas, oranges, broccoli, kiwis, bell peppers, carrots, spinach and pumpkin. Also tofu, almonds, walnuts, fish, soyabean, and yogurt are some foods, which when taken regularly, help in boosting immunity.
#2. Breast Feed Your Child:
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to boost immunity of your child. Breast milk contains plenty of antibodies which help reduce the risk of infections, allergies, urinary tract infections and give your child health for life. For a mother who is not able to breastfeed her baby directly (due to demands of work, sore nipples or other reasons), expressing breast milk, using a comfortable breast pump is also a feasible solution.
#3. Maintaining Hygiene through Proper Sterilisation:
Exposure to pathogens increases immunity but over exposure can have counter effects on the immune system. Keeping the home environment clean, encouraging frequent hand-washing and practicing personal hygiene are some basic pointers which we are all aware of.
Also Read: Stop Boiling Bottles
But for infants, sterilisation of her bottles, utensils, breast pump equipment and articlesof use such as teethers is the most important routine to follow. The process of sterilisation exposes objects to steam, killing bacteria which boiling fails to do. Boiling is not effective as it only disinfects, reducing harmful microorganisms. But sterilisation is the process of killing all microorganisms, thereby ensuring your little one is safe from diseases such as milk thrush (a common, but painful, fungal infection of the mouth, mostly attributed to un-sterilised milkdrinking equipment), gastroenteritis, and even common cold and cough.
One of the options available for a new mother would be Philips Avent 3-in-1 electric steam sterilizer. The sterilizer uses natural steam to sterilize baby bottles and other products in six minutes without using chemicals.
Philips Avent steriliser will keep its contents - baby bottles, breast pumps etc - sterile for up to 24 hours if the lid is unopened. It comes with a 2 years replacement guarantee and has a unique modular design that can be adapted to 3 sizes, depending on how many things you want to sterilise in one go. Use the smallest size when you are travelling as it becomes slim enough to fit in a regular bag. Thus keeping your baby safe everywhere.
#4. Ensure Adequate Exercise and Rest:
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%. Spend some time in the park every day playing ball or just racing—good workout as well as bonding time. Even infants need exercise, which they get when left free of the floor/bed, through flailing their arms and legs, trying to roll over or crawling.
But with exercise comes the need for adequate amount of rest too. Sleep deprivation increase 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.
#5. Update Yourself About Vaccinations Regularly:
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 after weighing the pros and cons.
#6. Choose Home-Remedies Over too Much of Medication:
Regular use of medication, especially anti-biotics can make your child, in future, resistant to the same. Therefore avoid medicating your child for every small irregularity in health. It is a commonly known fact that children upto 3 years of age, can have 8-10 bouts of cold and cough in a year. So, the next time your child has a light cold, instead of administering medication, try symptom relieving therapies such as steam, hot oil massages on back and chest (to relieve congestion) and nasal washes (saline-based nasal sprays). More often than not, these remedies in themselves will provide your child with immediate relief. But, having said that, if your child seems particularly uncomfortable, it is okay to check with a doctor.
#7. Check for Supplements:
For older children, check with your doctor for supplements such as Vitamin D, multi-vitamin or multi-mineral etc. Remember, as your child grows, his/her immune system will also get stronger. Upto 3-4 years is a particularly difficult time (especially vis-a-vi common cold and coughs), as children’s immunity is still building up.
In the meanwhile, hope that the above tips shall help improve your child’s health and boost his/her immunity. 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.
| Jun 08, 2016
Building a child's immunity is important. Here is a blog that can help you - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/5-home-remedies-for-runny-nose-in-toddlers/706