Ways to Boost Your Child’s Immunity
Children fall sick easily as their immune system is still relatively poor. Slowly, they prime their immunity by battling a series of germs and viruses as they grow up. However, there are still some healthy habits mothers can adopt to give their children’s immunity a boost. Here are some smart steps you can take to reduce their number of sick days.
1. Guard against the spreading of germs
The spreading of germs and bacteria is inevitable, but you can guard against them by encouraging your children to keep healthy habits. At any given point of time, your hands can have around 5000 germs and up to 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands.
As such, one way to keep your children from falling sick easily is to teach them how and when to wash hands.
According to the Ministry of Health, hands should be cleaned regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer for better hygiene. Parents are advised to remind their children to wash their hands before and after meals, before handling food, after using the toilet, after blowing nose and after touching common surfaces like table tops, door knobs and handrails. It is important to let your children know the importance of frequent handwashing so that they will do it willingly and make it a habit.
Choose your hand washing agents wisely as research has shown washing hand with liquid soap led to a significant reduction in hand bacteria, whereas foam soap is ineffective in killing bacteria. Stock up your bathroom with Lifebuoy Total 10 Germ Protection Handwash to ensure clean hands that are protected against germs. Containing Activ Naturol Shield, an ingredient that proves to kill 99.9% germs in 10 seconds, this handwash is an essential to your household.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Eating the right food can help boost your child’s immunity to prevent cold and flus. Helping your child make better food choices now will have a big impact on his health and quality of life in the future.
Use Health Promotion Board My Healthy Plate as a guide for a balance diet. Your child should consume a variety of food from the 4 food groups listed below:
- Brown Rice and Wholemeal Bread
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Meat and Others
- Healthy oil such as Omega-3 fatty acids in fish
- Consume salt and sugar sparingly
Fill half of your child’s lunch box with fruits and vegetables as they are chock-full of minerals and vitamins beneficial to the immune system. These wholesome foods not only add colours, textures and flavours to your child’s meals but also unique health benefits that will keep them strong. Replace processed white rice or bread with wholegrains foods such as brown rice and wholemeal bread in your child’s diet as the latter contain more valuable nutrients.
To make your child’s meal complete, aim for 2 servings of fish per week for a healthy immune system.
Once your child’s diet is optimised, their immune system will remain strong and healthy.
1. Sleep is the cure
Studies show that sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illnesses as it weakens the immune system. The same holds true for children.
How much sleep do kids really need? Newborns may need up to 18 hours of crib time a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, preschoolers need about 10 hours and primary-schoolers should sleep an average 9 to 10 hours a day. Adequate sleep not only boosts your child’s immunity but also supports healthy growth and development. Additionally, sleeping enough improves children’s memories and helps them organise their thoughts to work more efficiently both inside and outside school.
One way to help your child sleep better is to regulate their bedtime routine. Arrange a set of pre-bedtime activities for your child such as having a warm drink, taking a shower, listening to soothing music or reading a story. Set a fix time for bed to frame your child’s mind that it is time to sleep soon. When it is time for bed, turn off the lights, cool down the room and reduce loud noises to create the optimal sleep environment for your child. A good night’s sleep will improve children’s immune system as well as their attention span. Your child will thank you in the future.
2. Breast feeding
Breast feeding will give your child a head start as breast milk contains immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells that are beneficial to your baby. These antibodies help your baby fight against infections such as diarrhea and respiratory diseases. Through your milk, your child will acquire the immunity which you have developed against certain illnesses.
In addition, human milk is a natural probiotic which encourages the growth of friendly bacterial in the gut of your baby. As compared to babies who are being fed formula milk, breastfed babies have healthier gut health and suffer less from diarrhea.
Boosting immunity is one of the many benefits breast feeding brings. It also improves nutrition and promotes the wellbeing of your child.
3. Get fit together
Research has shown that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults – and regular activity can benefit kids in the same way. Keeping your children at home, fearing that they might catch the flu bug, will probably do more harm to their immune system.
Instead of visiting the malls, introduce fun outdoor activities such as playing basketball, cycling and roller blading. into family bonding sessions to your child to exercise. This expose your child to fresh air and improve the natural levels of Vitamin D, which can strengthen the body’s immune system.