So we've spoken a lot about different parts of our "immune system", but what about our children's "immune system"? How do we keep them healthy?
Okay . . . so first we need to know that children's immunity is weaker than ours. Babies are born with an "immature" immune system and as they grow so does their level of immunity, with it reaches maturity in the early teenage years.
As we know . . . children pick up bugs easily. The average adult will get a cold or flu 2 to 4 times a year, whereas children are 2 times more likely to be affected by these viral infections. So how do we strengthen our children's immune system to help them fight off bugs before they develop into an infection?
Well . . . the key elements are:
REST - Boost sleep time. For example . . . Children in daycare are particularly at risk for sleep deprivation because of all the activity. It can actually make it difficult for them to nap.
So . . . How much sleep do children need for a healthy immune system? An infant many need up to 16 hours of crib time a day, toddlers require 11 to 14 hours per day and preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours. So if you can't get your child to take a nap during the day . . . they need to go to bed earlier in the evening to get their required sleep time. Elementary and early middles school children typically requite 9 to 11 hours (all at night) and a teenager needs about 8 to 10 hours of sleep.
EXERCISE - (including play) increases the number of natural killer cells to protect immunity,
FRESH AIR - playing out in the fresh air will clean their lungs, ridding them of impurities such as household chemicals and dust
REDUCING STRESS - high family or school stress can lead to the child's immune system being affected. Stress . . . even in children affects their ability to fight against bacteria and viruses. We have not a clue as to how stressed our children are in times like this! They hear us talk, they don't understand, they feel lost, they feel scared and they don't know why or how to express their feeling. They don't have a good coping system therefore, their immune system suffers. And you can help fix this by following a routine!
ROUTINE - this gives infants and toddlers a sense of security and stability. Young children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures and learn what is expected of them as routines make their environment more predictable. Which reduces stress and improve immunity.
REDUCING SUGAR - Sugar has been shown to suppress a child's immune system by lowering the ability of their white bloods cells to fight off bacteria, which can lead to more colds, flu or other sicknesses.
STOP GIVING ANTIBIOTIC - antibiotics are one of the biggest offender of our children's weakened immunity because antibiotics "kill" their "good" bacteria. And the body "can not" survive without it. There are many natural antibiotics that get the job done but "do not" kill their "good" bacteria.
So what vitamins do children need. Well, depending on their age.
1. Vitamin C to boost the immune system
2. Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system
3. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection
Which we can get all of these from the food we eat. Again, depending on their age.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES - are loaded with vitamin C and E
ALMONDS AND WALNUTS - are high in Omega 3 fatty acids to fight of illness.
LEAN MEATS - contain Zinc to protect the immune system and help make the white blood cells stronger.
PRE - AND PROBIOTICS - build our army of "good" bacteria for digestive health and fighting off invaders of the body.
So with today's state of affairs . . . we need to reduce the stress in our children's lives and STOP feeding them processed foods, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, added coloring, empty calorie food and SUGAR's which all weakening their "immune system" . . .
As always, feel free to contact me here