Is Your Child’s Immune System the Best It Can Be?
This winter, more than ever, it’s critical to ensure that our children have immune systems that are robust, strong and able to avoid and fight illnesses and infections. A strong immune system also helps your child navigate life’s bumps, bruises and breaks better – with less severe injuries and faster recoveries. A strong immune system also helps your child in the future, by avoiding chronic health problems as an adult.
Make sure your child’s vaccinations are current.
We can’t say it enough; if your child is infected with a preventable, life-threatening diseases, their brains, hearts, lungs, kidneys, muscles, bones and nervous system will suffer for the rest of their lives. Make sure your child gets a flu shot every year to keep them healthier fall through spring.
Healthy sleep builds a healthy immune system.
Establishing good sleep habits builds T cells which fight everything from viruses to cancer. Without healthy sleep, your child is at greater risk of chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, weight gain, cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes.
Recommended sleep at each stage of life:
- Infants up to the age of 12 months, 14-17 hours of sleep each day
- Toddlers up to 3 years old, 12-15 hours
- Pre-schoolers ages 3 to 5, 10-13 hours
- Children ages 6-13, 9-11 hours of sleep
- Teenagers and adults, 8-10 hours a day
Avoid secondhand smoke.
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections, They experience more ear infections and have more frequent and more severe asthma attacks. It also permanently damages your child’s brain, lung and vascular system.
Get fresh air and sunshine!
Sunlight creates vitamin D and lowers the risk of Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise in fresh air improves antibody and white blood cells circulation and function. It also reduces depression symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet.
Vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and whole grains foods help children fight infections with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and healthier gut bacteria. It also reduces the risk of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases in adulthood.
If you have questions about boosting your child’s immune system, or you think your child gets sick too often, call our office and make an appointment. We will happy to help.