Ways To Develop Immunity In Children
Our kids are exposed to an array of germs and viruses; be it on the play area,1 the school or even at home. You cannot sterilise every place your kids go to, neither can you keep children from going out and playing. So, as a parent, how can you minimise the risks of infections? Ensuring that kids develop a stronger immunity naturally is one way to go about it. So, let us look at some healthy habits you may adopt to support your child’s immunity.
Moderate exercise is believed to have a beneficial effect on natural killer cell system (interleukins).2It also enhances immune system through stress-reduction.3 Thus encouraging your kids to opt for age-appropriate exercise regularly will not only make them physically fit but will also support their immunity. It is widely accepted that long periods of very intensive exercise training may depress immunity; On the other hand, regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial and thus as a parent it is important to adopt caution.4
Give Them Nutritious Diets
Nutrition plays a very important role in immune responses while malnutrition is considered the leading cause of immune-deficiency worldwide. Deficiencies of Vitamins A, C, E, B6 and Folate, are also associated with reduced immunity. Micronutrients such as Zinc, Selenium, Iron and Copper are also important in developing a healthy immune system.5 Thus, a properly balanced diet with all required nutrients is extremely important, especially in the growing years when the immune system is still maturing.
Inculcate Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is a restorative process that plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the immune system. Lack of proper sleep may lead to the weakening of immune system as well as increased susceptibility to infection.6 In fact, it has been shown that shorter than ideal sleeping duration is associated with increased incidence of the common cold.7 Certain immune system cells such as T cells and proinflammatory cytokines peak during the night.8 It is thus important to develop and follow a healthy and optimum sleep pattern for your children.
Kids are kids and they are going to do things their way. As parents, it becomes our responsibility to be vigilant about their health. Even with nutritious eating, they will be often fussy. To counter that, you can incorporate creative ways to introduce vegetables in their meal and even give them tasty drinks to meet the nutritional requirement. Remember, it is not possible to completely remove germs or infections from their lives, but we can help strengthen their immune system through keeping some small but important things in mind