A strong immune system is crucial for protecting a child from harmful disease and infections. As of recent, it is even more important for our children to stay protected as the unpredictable pandemic continues.
As parents, we can feel ever so helpless in these circumstances, but we must try to focus on controlling the controllable to help manage our own anxiety and prevent burnout. By now, it is ingrained in us to wash our hands and wear a mask, but we have put together some other ways which can help protect your child from infection and keep their immune systems in check.
Sleep is crucial for children to help them grow and develop. It is also a key factor in developing and maintaining a healthy immune system. Evidence suggests that poor sleep can dampen your immune system by decreasing our immune cell number and function, while increasing inflammation.
While the amount of sleep a child requires varies with age, they generally need about twelve to sixteen hours a night. Creating a dark, relaxing, and quiet atmosphere before bed, while limiting screen time as much as possible can aid a restful and lengthy sleep for your child. Additionally, humans are creatures of habit and creating a night time routine, such having a warm shower and going to bed at the same time every day, can greatly increase your child’s quality of sleep.
Exercise and keeping active is not only important for your child’s immune system, but also for their overall health. Studies have found that frequent physical activity amongst children is associated with advantages such as improved immune response by increasing immune system activity, as well as enhanced defence against inflammatory diseases.
It is recommended for children to engage in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day, including aerobic, weightbearing and resistance exercise. This can include activity such as running, jumping, swimming, or dancing- anything that gets them moving!
What our children eat can also be very impactful on their immune system health. Studies have shown that children with nutritional deficiencies may be at higher risk of suppressed immune function or dysfunction of their immune response. A diet full of vegetables and fruit (camouflaged or not), wholegrains, lean protein and healthy fats is a sure way to have peace of mind that a child is receiving all the nutrients they need.
Avoiding overly processed foods and unnecessary sugary and salty snacks is also a good idea to prevent children being put off their main meals. However, picky eaters can often be at higher risk of nutrient deficiency if it goes on for long periods of time. While this phase usually passes and is normal, it might be a good idea to consider a multivitamin.
Sona MultiPlus Junior Complete Chewable provides a comprehensive supply of essential nutrients which are essential for a child’s growth and development. With thirty chewable teddy bear tablets in a delicious natural strawberry flavour, even the fussiest of children will love them!
Research has found that up to eighty percent of our immune system resides in our gut. Emerging evidence also suggests that consuming fermented foods with probiotics may be beneficial for our gut health and in turn, our immune systems. Examples of fermented foods containing probiotics include:
- Cultured milk and yoghurt
- Sourdough bread
While these foods can be tasty and versatile, they are not always suited to a child’s pallet and can be often be expensive and difficult to source.
Sona KiddieBiotic is a superhero friendly probiotic for children in a tasty strawberry flavored tablet which can help to strengthen a child’s natural immune system and maintain digestive balance. They are also super for during and after antibiotics, to help replenish their friendly gut bacteria.
Bryant, P.A., Trinder, J. and Curtis, N., 2004. Sick and tired: does sleep have a vital role in the immune system? Nature Reviews Immunology, 4(6), pp.457-467.
Carlsson, E., Ludvigsson, J., Huus, K. and Faresjö, M., 2016. High physical activity in young children suggests positive effects by altering autoantigen‐induced immune activity. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 26(4), pp.441-450.
Klein, K. and Stevens, R., 2008. The clinical use of probiotics for young children: probiotics may be beneficial in reducing the incidence of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and colic in babies. Journal of Family Health Care, 18(2), pp.66-69.
Wu, D., Lewis, E.D., Pae, M. and Meydani, S.N., 2019. Nutritional modulation of immune function: analysis of evidence, mechanisms, and clinical relevance. Frontiers in immunology, 9, p.3160.