People all around the world are constantly being exposed to bacteria and viruses. As parents, we want to do the best we can to protect our children from illness. That doesn’t just mean shielding them from people and places. There is more you can do. Strengthening your child’s immune system should be the very first step.
What is a cold?
The common cold is a viral infection in your nose or throat. A virus causes a cold and cannot be fought with antibiotics (antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral). Generally, when a child (or adult) has a common cold, they will simply just need to run its course. Medicine is usually not required. That said, watch out for serious symptoms (i.e. fever, ear pain, wheezing etc.). As the old saying goes; feed a cold and starve a fever.
What is a flu?
A flu (also known as Influenza) is also a viral infection. Much like a cold, a flu ordinarily resolves itself, but you feel awful when you have it. In severe cases (for people with high risk) influenza can be fatal. Common symptoms (fever, chills, sweats, achy muscles, headache, fatigue, etc.) usually disappear after a week or two.
Tips for improving your child’s immune system
Up the fruit and veg intake
Green beans, carrots, strawberries and oranges contain immunity boosting nutrients called carotenoids. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C. Garlic has immune-boosting properties, seemingly coming from the high concentrate of sulfur-containing compounds.
Plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation has been proven to leave you more susceptible to illness. 10-12 hours sleep should be more than enough for children attending primary school.
Regular exercise or activity
Physical activity helps flush bacteria out of the lungs. Research has also shown that regular exercise increases the number of natural killer cells.
There is so much to be said for improving your immune system. Keeping your child healthy begins with proper nutrients. Each child has different dietary needs and restrictions. Go online and research the best possible diet to improve your child’s immune system.