Strengthening Your Child's Immune System the Natural Way
When we were children, we all had that one friend who was very frail, sickly, and looked like a gust of wind could easily knock them over. Similarly, we also had a friend who’d be as fit as a fiddle even when all the rest of us got the seasonal flu, and who always looked strong, healthy, and cheerful. Now that we have kids of our own, it’s clear that we want them to be just like the second friend – unhindered by poor health and full of energy and joy. But how do we accomplish that? How do we help our child develop a good immune system that protects them from flues, colds, and serious diseases no matter what? Well, it all starts with making a few changes to your home and creating some good habits that will teach them how to take care.
Stop isolating them from germs
Isolating your child from germs completely is a) impossible and b) actually very harmful. Keep them away from common viruses and bacteria and you’ll only prevent their body from building up a natural resistance and creating a healthy response to germs. Instead, once they inevitably do get in contact with these microbes, they’ll develop diseases and infections that they otherwise wouldn’t. Basically, teach your child some basic hygiene, but otherwise just let them play, explore, and get in contact with, yes, germs. Their bodies will adjust and create a strong resistance, and in turn, your kid will be healthier.
Good food for good health
A daily fruit snack should definitely be a requirement in your kid’s diet, and so should things such as veggies, eggs, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These immunity-boosting foods can be really helpful in keeping them healthy, so stock up and make as many home-cooked meals as possible. Also, try to avoid processed foods and sugar-filled snacks at all costs because they will raise inflammation levels in your child’s body and make it more difficult to fend off infections.
Create a non-toxic environment
Your home is the place you and your kid spend most of your time, so it should be made safe and free of any harmful toxins. Careful with harsh household cleaners, PVC wall paint, and pesticides in your garden. You also need to keep the air in your home clear and free of mold spores and allergens, so air out your rooms frequently and consider getting a good air purifier. Bear in mind that the best air purifiers for allergies will contain a quality HEPA filter that can help keep the air clean of all the allergens and toxins. It’s particularly useful for children who suffer from asthma.
Avoid unnecessary antibiotics
Antibiotic overuse is one of the biggest modern issues we’re facing. We love to pop some pills whenever we feel a cold coming our way, but in truth antibiotics are completely and utterly useless against the common cold. Why? Because that’s not their purpose at all. They are there to fight off bacterial, not viral infections, and if you keep giving them to your child when they don’t need any, they’ll create a resistance to the medication and it will become ineffective over time. When they actually do end up needing antibiotics they won’t work. A much better idea is to have them get the seasonal flu shot, and to simply let them rest and drink plenty of fluids if they get sick with a cold. Consult your doctor before you give any sort of medication.
Consider having a pet
Children growing up on farms or in households with a dog or a cat are a lot less likely to get sick than kids who don’t have a pet. Research shows that being exposed to pet dander and microbes that pets carry helps boost their immune system, so perhaps it’s time to give into your child’s begging to finally get that puppy.
Help them cope with stress
Just like with adults, stress can wreak havoc on your kid’s body and lower their immune response. Since stress is impossible to avoid, teach them how to cope with it. Talk to them about emotions and how they can process them, teach them how to be organized and finish their obligations on time, and teach them strategies that they can turn to when they need to calm down – taking a quiet moment to read a book, taking a nap, listening to music, drawing, writing, or even just coming to you for a snuggle.
In the end, it’s all about creating good, healthy habits. Teach them how to be physically active, how to take care of their hygiene, what food to eat, and then simply allow them to explore and enjoy their childhood. Happy children are healthy children, so don’t stress too much and your family will be well.