Thursday, December 24, 2009

Curious Kids Need to be Tough Inside by Nuffnang

How we as a parents help boost our child’s immune system.
5 ways to boost our child’s immunity :

What can we do to protect our child from the endless array of germs and viruses he's exposed to every day? Slowly, children prime their immunity by battling an ongoing series of germs, viruses, and other organisms. But there are healthy habits we can adopt that will give our child's immune system a boost.

1. Serve more fruits and vegetables.

Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries: Try to get our child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. (A serving is about two tablespoons for toddlers, 1� cup for older kids.

2. Boost sleep time.

Sleep deprivation can make more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells, immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. 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 of cribtime a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours.

3. Breast-feed our baby.

Breast milk contains turbo-charged immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Nursing guards against ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary-tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Colostrum, the thin yellow "premilk" that flows from the breasts during the first few days after birth, is especially rich in disease-fighting antibodies. If this commitment isn't realistic, aim to breast-feed for at least the first two to three months in order to supplement the immunity our baby received in utero.

4. Exercise as a family.

To get our children into a lifelong fitness habit, be a good role model. Exercise with them rather than just urge them to go outside and play. Fun family activities include bike riding, hiking, in-line skating, basketball, and tennis.

5. Guard against germ spread.

Fighting germs doesn't technically boost immunity, but it's a great way to reduce stress on our child's immune system. Make sure our kids wash their hands often -- and with soap. We 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 we're out, carry disposable wipes with us 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.

No comments: