A work-in-progress immune system

A child’s immune system is a work-in-progress, so are you giving your child all the necessary building blocks?

A strong immune system depends upon many factors, including good nutrition, sunshine, fresh air, clean water, adequate sleep, and happiness.

Children start with part of their immune system ready to go. This special gift is nurtured as the baby develops in the womb. Vaginal birth babies are given an extra shot of immune boosters as they exit the birth canal. Caesarean birth babies miss this key factor, so extra care needs to be given to promote immune and gut flora diversity early-on in life.

Exposure to an array of common pathogens develops children’s acquired immunity. But this is where parents can start to become a little bit stressed! It is hard to see your child suffer as they fight off a disease; however, that is what the immune system is for.

So, what can you do to help your child develop a strong, responsive immune system?

  1. Feed them colourful fruits and veggies – filled with antioxidants and prebiotic fibres
  2. Let them play – outside play provides fresh air and sunlight., which are both important for strengthening the immune system. It works for plants!
  3. Prioritise good sleep hygiene – a morning and/or afternoon nap, plus a regular bedtime, promotes growth and development.
  4. Laugh, sing, dance and be ‘crazy’ – feel-good hormones make the immune system strong.

One last thing – don’t sanitise their world too much; make the immune system work. This is a reward that will hold them in good stead throughout their life.

Leonie Shrimpton is passionate about your child’s immune health, and is available for Video Appointments.

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