Runny nose Constant colds Recurring flu. Gastrointestinal parasites and bacteria. These conditions can be quite common with children in daycare or at school. Children of all ages come in with recurring infections and immune systems that detect every bug that crosses their path. While some of this is often out of parental control, a strong immune system isn’t just about big genes.

5 ways to improve children’s immune systems

There are a number of powerful immune boosters for children that are available for parents to help keep their children healthy. The following are some:

1. Start with a good diet

The Immun system and children may be affected if they are not backed by healthy foods. To keep children well, limit their overall intake of additives, sugar, and work with a doctor to determine which foods are allergens.

When a child has a food allergy, their digestion suffers, inflammation increases, making defending against viruses and bacteria much more difficult.

It is a similar story when a child ingests more additives and preservatives than his body can handle; in fact, excess sugar can also cause inflammation.

Instead, focus on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fresh vegetables, whole fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and protein.

2. For a good immune system maintain a good microbiota in the child

Our microbiome is the collection of friendly bacteria that occur naturally in our intestines. They protect our digestive tracts, help us digest food, and protect us from the invasion of bacteria and viruses.

As such, maintaining a healthy microbiome can help a child’s ability to defend themselves against infection.

To do so, probiotic supplements are recommended, which can help maintain a healthy gut and support immune health. Of course, talk to your family doctor before starting your child on regular probiotics, as it can vary by age.

3. Helps calm your stress and anxiety

In today’s fast-paced world, where parents are stressed and children are often over-programmed, it can affect immunity . Children’s bodies have the same stress response as adults: their cortisol and adrenaline rise.

When this elevation of stress hormones is maintained, the response of your immune systems decreases . In fact, a research review that specifically looked at early life stressors assessed that “people exposed to chronic stressors may exhibit immune dysregulation.”

It is important that children have plenty of time for activity, time for creative play, and just moments of rest. Busy bodies need to take a break from time to time for their immune systems to thrive.

4. Make sure they get enough sleep

Most children are not getting enough sleep. Depending on their age, I have found that children need between ten and 14 hours of sleep per day.

Sleep is important for several reasons, and it is absolutely essential for increased immunity: A research review published in Physiological Reviews noted that sleep and immunity are linked , each directly affecting the other.

And the quality of your sleep really matters. For the proper secretion of melatonin (our sleep hormone), children need to sleep in the dark, without night lights or screens.

Since screen time can also affect sleep quality, it is recommended to ensure that your child’s electronic devices are turned off well before bedtime.

5. Supplements and herbs can work wonders

The best supplements to boost a child’s immune system are zinc and vitamin D. It is important to note that while children can get vitamin D from being outdoors, most of us do not live where you can. get enough sun throughout the year, and you would need to eat a lot of foods that contain vitamin D (fish, mushrooms), so supplements may be the solution.

Elderberry is also one of my favorite immune boosters for kids, especially if they have recurring respiratory tract infections.

In fact, elderberry supplementation reduced upper respiratory symptoms in a research meta-analysis, which included a total of 180 participants, published in Complementary Theories In Medicine .

Of course, be sure to consult your doctor before putting your child on any new supplement or herbal regimen.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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