How To: Boost your child's immunity

Having a strong immune system can help your child enjoy great health. Here are some simple ways to boost immunity.

Your child’s immune system helps them fight off illness and recover quickly from any sickness they might catch. It’s a good idea to boost it as much as possible through the right medicine and diet, and by cultivating great immune-boosting habits.

Friendly medicines
 Studies show that there are many natural alternatives that play a valuable role in boosting children’s health. Most minor illnesses in children are caused by viruses and do not need antibiotics. Instead, use home remedies to treat minor infections, such as “natural antibiotics” like garlic and honey, or use probiotics and vitamin supplements to encourage the body to develop its own antibodies. Of course, if your child is very unwell or not recovering as expected, it’s a good idea to go and see a doctor.

Dietary advice
Junk food (especially excess sugar) is generally unhealthy for children. Try to limit their intake of sugar as much as you can. Include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet to get all the important vitamins, and make their daily meals as varied as possible (this isn’t always possible!) Fish contains important omega-3 oils that can safeguard your child against mental diseases. Zinc (found in meat, eggs and yoghurts) helps with the production of white blood cells that fight diseases. A balanced diet will supply your growing child with all the antioxidants their body needs to regulate their immune system. Encourage three main meals and two to three healthy snacks between mealtimes.

Good habits
Research shows that there are certain good habits that can really help the immune system. Protect your child by keeping their immunisations up to date. Ensure your child gets enough sleep and regular exercise. Try to minimise their exposure to chemicals. Also encourage your child to play outside as much as possible. Studies have shown that as little as half an hour of fresh air and sunshine a day can boost the immune system.

A few small changes in your child’s diet and routine can make a big difference to their immune system. A healthy immune system allows children to respond to infections quickly and regain strength easily after illnesses. Did you know about these immune-boosting Do’s and Don’ts?

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Dr Claudia Gray, Paediatrician. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

“A balanced diet, immune boosting supplements and plenty of fresh air will help ward off infections. But remember that viruses are highly catchy and will affect even the healthiest children (and adults!)” Dr Claudia Gray.

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