Saturday, April 16, 2011

Improving Child Immunity

What can you do to protect your child from the endless array of germs and viruses he's exposed to every day? 
Unfortunately, in some ways, getting sick when you're a kid is simply part of the job description. "We all enter this world with an inexperienced immune system.. Slowly, children prime their immunity by battling an ongoing series of germs, viruses, and other organisms -- which is why most pediatricians consider six to eight colds, bouts of flu, or ear infections per year normal.
But there are healthy habits you can adopt that will give your child's immune system a boost.

Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries: They all contain such immunity-boosting phytonutrients as vitamin C and carotenoids. Phytonutrients may increase the body's production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody that coats cell surfaces, blocking out viruses. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

Studies of adults show that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells, immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. The same holds true for children. Children in day care are particularly at risk for sleep deprivation because all the activity can make it difficult for them to nap. How much sleep do kids need? A newborn may need up to 18 hours in a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours. "If your child can't or won't take naps during the day, try to put her to bed earlier.

Breast milk contains turbo-charged immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Nursing guards against ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary-tract infections.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms breast-feed for a year at least.

Research shows that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults -- and regular activity can benefit kids in the same way. To get your children into a lifelong fitness habit, be a good role model. "Exercise with them rather than just urge them to go outside and play.

Fighting germs doesn't technically boost immunity, but it's a great way to reduce stress on your child's immune system. Make sure your kids wash their hands often -- and with soap. You should pay particular attention to their hygiene before and after each meal and after playing outside, handling pets, blowing their nose, using the bathroom, and arriving home from day care. When you're out, carry disposable wipes with you for quick cleanups. To help kids get into the hand-washing habit at home, let them pick out their own brightly colored hand towels and soap in fun shapes, colors, and scents.
Another key germ-busting strategy: "If your child does get sick, throw out her toothbrush right away. A child can't catch the same cold or flu virus twice, but the virus can hop from toothbrush to toothbrush, infecting other family members. If it's a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, however, your child can reinfect herself with the same germs that got her sick in the first place. In that case, tossing the toothbrush protects both your child and the rest of your family.

If you or your spouse smokes, quit. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, most of which can irritate or kill cells in the body. Kids are more susceptible than adults to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke because they breathe at a faster rate; a child's natural detoxification system is also less developed. If someone absolutely can't quit smoking, you can reduce your child's health risks considerably by smoking only outside the house.

Urging your pediatrician to write a prescription for an antibiotic whenever your child has a cold, flu, or sore throat is a bad idea. Antibiotics treat only illnesses caused by bacteria, "but the majority of childhood illnesses are caused by viruses.

Lastly, just ask your mom how much you troubled her, when you were so young ? Isnt it ? Dont get tired so easily. Remember you have to work hard to save your baby from all this atleast till he reaches five years, then gradually things will be better.
Once your child reached 5 years happily, atleast half work is done.
Hope these simple tips will help you.

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