Boost Your Child's Immune System As Early As Possible


19. 11. 2017

The health of their child is always of utmost importance to parents. The child's quality of life is directly related to ones immunity, good health and physical abilities. Strengthening the body's defenses can be done from childhood all the way through to adulthood.

The first contact with antigens occurs during birth

Immunity starts its development during birth itself. This is why obstetricians prefer vaginal delivery whenever possible. The child passes through the birth canal and during this process, comes into contact with antigens. During the first few months, the baby has antibodies which came from the mother. Children form antibodies to antigens after they have come in close contact with them. Yet another aspect at an early stage of life is represented by breastfeeding. Children who are born via a C-section are more prone to suffer from allergies because their digestive tract is colonized by lactobacilli with a delay. Their bifidogenic flora also has a different composition to that of children who were breastfed.

The immune system builds antibodies to many viral diseases

A major milestone in the development of the immune system of a child is represented by starting school. During this time, children are confronted by new diseases which they would otherwise not encounter at home. Often, children are more likely to catch a disease, but it may not always be the case. The body can build antibodies to diseases of viral nature such as smallpox, preventing it from occurring later in life. It is therefore important that children have smallpox when they are small. On the other hand, the flu is a seasonal issue and the body is unable to form antibodies to it. First born children or single children are more prone to disease as they grow up in an environment within an enclosed family circle.

A frequently ill child that needs professional assistance

If the child is ill every month and the disease lasts for one week or more, it can be an immune disorder. In such cases, a pediatrician will most likely recommend an immunological examination. In cases where children are sick in this way six or eight times a year, requiring that they need to stay away from others, assistance through immunostimulation may be possible. Under standard circumstances, it is not necessary to use such medication, but with children who get sick frequently, this may present a suitable solution.

What vitamins are required by the body?

You can strengthen your child's immunity as well as your own throughout the entire year. During winter months, a varied diet as well as sufficient amounts of Vitamin D which affects growth and the immune system are recommended. Food which boost immunity include cabbage, vitamin C, sea buckthorn, vitamin B contained in food, potatoes, kiwi, broccoli and peppers. The diet should also include dairy products with probiotics. Sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals in the individual's body play a major role in forming the immune system. 

Immunity is further boosted by hardening the body and taking walks to the park. Spending time outdoors strengthens the body's defenses for both adults and children. When taking walks during winter months, make sure to wear appropriate clothing. It is recommended to wear multiple layers of clothing and ideally functional clothing. Adequate amounts of physical activity also boosts the immune system. Appropriate personal hygiene is an important factor in building up the immune system. Overly dirty or sterile environments do not promoted the proper development of the immune system.

Do not underestimate sufficient amounts of sleep

Psychological well-being, stress from school or an unknown environment and fear all have a an impact on a child's immune system. Children in first class can suffer from falling ill more frequently for the outlined reasons. It may not always be the case however. Children need to have sufficient sleep and the length of sleep varies with age. Young children attending school can sleep up to 11 hours each day while teenagers around 9 hours. Parents should pay attention to their children going to sleep in time and not going to sleep too late. 

Immunity in a home environment

A healthy diet rich in vitamins strengthens the organism's natural defense mechanisms. You can make your own syrup from sea buckthorn berries. Sea buckthorn contains vitamins A, C, D, F, K and vitamins B which contributes to resistance to infections. Children will love the sea buckthorn and can drink it daily instead of standard fruit syrups. Sour cabbage contains vitamin C which boosts immunity as well as vitamin B12 which encourages increased brain and nerve activity. This vitamin is not contained in any other plant-based food source. Cabbage soup or Segedin cabbage goulash (segedínský guláš) will fill the children's stomachs and they will like eating it. Baked potatoes with cabbage or potato dumplings with cabbage will do the same. Garlic is a natural antibiotic which helps improve the immune system, stabilizes the level of sugar and cholesterol in the blood. Raw garlic is not usually liked by children and there is really no food with it that most children would consume without problems.  Aloe Vera leaves have a strong impact on combating bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Juice made from the its leaves helps improve digestion and regulates intestinal microflora as well.

Boosting the immune system at a home environment is suitable primarily as a means of prevention. This method does not replace treatment recommended by the doctor and in the short-term does not improve the patient's immune system.

Vitamins and dietary supplements to boost the immune system

For the correct function of the immune system, the body must have sufficient amounts of vitamin A, C, zinc and selenium. The main factors are a healthy lifestyle and a varied diet. Vitamins purchased at a pharmacy serve in supporting the immune system. However without a healthy lifestyle and eating fruits and vegetables, vitamins alone are unable to significantly boost the immune system. Developing children and mothers who breastfeed require a greater intake of vitamins. Lastly, strengthening ones immunity goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle and diet.

Is your child ill frequently and you do not know what to do about it? Is your child using antibiotics or spending a large part of the year ill and away from other children? Call (+420) 235 360 133 to book a visit to our pediatrician who will help you find a suitable solution. 

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