5 Tips To Strengthen Your Kid’s Immunity
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That time of the year, when the weather is changing, brings in its wake a slew of infections, caused by the return of a multitude of germs. And those most susceptible to change of weather are children. Naturally, this puts parents in a state of worry, as they would like to see their little ones tide over the season’s dangers with the least discomfort. But that’s easier said than done – for, to achieve this, your child needs something special – a strong immune system
That’s right! A strong immune system is a key to your child being able to fight recurring seasonal infections caused by viruses, bacteria (pathogens), and free radicals, say, health experts.
But first things first. If you find yourselves often wondering about why your child falls sick every time weather conditions flip, some scientific studies might give you the answer.
Several factors such as weakening of the immune system, changes in the protective mucosal barrier, and deviations in the nature of pathogens are the reasons why the change in weather and environmental temperature is accompanied by a rise in infectious diseases. Seasonal flu and infections are detrimental to your child’s physical, mental and social development, leading to loss of productivity, unsatisfactory academic performance, and poor cognition.
So, here are some useful tips to keep your child’s immunity up and kicking even when the weather takes a turn for the worse:
1. Micronutrients Give ‘Macro’ Immunity:
Nutritional deficiencies in your child affect the immune system negatively. According to many research studies, poor micronutrient status in the body is linked to a weak immune system in children. In fact, the poor immune response is the earliest sign of micronutrient deficiency. This is because the immune system needs a continuous supply of micronutrients, such as iron, folic acid, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, Selenium, and Copper, among others, for immune cell regeneration. Adding green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, dairy products, pulses, and whole grains through preparations that are interesting and tasty, is a good way to meet your child’s nutrient requirements1.
2. Say Yes to Nutritional Supplementation:
Children have high nutritional requirements to aid their rapid physical and mental growth. As per United Nations Subcommittee on Nutrition, most children fail to meet 100 percent of their daily requirements for micronutrients through a normal diet. To prevent that, you can supplement and add value to their regular diets through fortified health drinks, such as Horlicks and meet your child’s nutrient needs easily. Along with the goodness of milk, malted wheat, and barley, and 23 vital nutrients, Horlicks now comes laden with the goodness of nutrients like Vitamin E, Zinc and Selenium to support your child’s immune system2. Available in two delicious flavours – Classic Malt and Chocolate Delight, your child is going to love that daily cup of Horlicks!
3. Load Up On ‘D’ Sunshine Vitamin:
Low levels of Vitamin D in the body, one of the most essential nutrients for healthy skeletal growth and immunity building, have been strongly linked to increased predisposition to infections. Seasonal variations in Vitamin D status have, in fact, a significant bearing on the rate of infection. This is because Vitamin D has a role to play in immune cell multiplication, differentiation, and production of antibodies. During monsoons or the cold season, your child is less exposed to sunlight, one of the richest sources of the nutrient, leading to insufficiency of Vitamin D. It thus becomes imperative that you supplement your child’s diet with dietary supplements and health food drinks, such as Horlicks3.
4. Increase Their Playtime:
Encouraging your child to indulge in some physical activity and exercise gives a boost to their immune system. Being physically active has been shown to have a positive effect on children’s immunity through a reduction in inflammatory substances and an increase in non-inflammatory substances. So, let your child play games, run, and jump around, build their ability to ward off harmful infections4.
5. Inculcate Good Hygiene Practices:
Good personal and general hygiene is very important when it comes to maintaining strong immunity levels. Unfortunately, most parents tend to overlook this aspect. Disinfection of household surfaces, consuming clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and good hand hygiene practices, all are vital for perfect immune health. Ensure that your child takes a bath regularly and washes hands before and after visiting the toilet to avoid transmission of microbes. Using a strong anti-septic solution may not be necessary, simply washing hands with soap and water can do the trick.