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It’s never nice having a sick kid. As a parent, you probably wish there was something you could do about it so that your children never fall sick ever again, now wouldn’t that be nice? However, having kids who get sick once in a while is inevitable as their young immune systems are constantly exposed to viruses and bacteria.

This leaves many frazzled parents left asking “How can I boost my child’s immune system naturally?” Their immune systems, of course, get stronger as they grow older, but there are a few simple changes you can make to your daily routine to ward off illnesses if you feel they’re occurring too frequently.

7 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immunity

1. Breast Is Best

The moment your child comes into the world, the best thing you can do at these early stages of their life is choosing to breastfeed your newborn baby. Colostrum is the nutrient-rich liquid produced by the breast right after giving birth, this is one of nature’s most powerful immune boosters for kids, and choosing to breastfeed your baby for as long as possible is highly beneficial for fragile young newborns.

Breastfeeding can help to guard your child’s immune system against an array of conditions such as:

  • Ear infections

  • Allergies

  • Diarrhoea

  • Pneumonia

  • Meningitis

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

2. Serve More Whole Foods

Feeding your children more fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide your kids with the immunity-boosting nutrients they need, easier said than done right? Kids can be picky eaters, so this may take a little creative thinking on your part, and the best way to get them to eat a little healthier is to set a good example.

Ensuring that your child’s diet is rich with phytonutrients can help boost the immune system and keep chronic diseases at bay well into adulthood. Try to feed your child at least five servings (or more) of fruits and vegetables every day.

3. Increase Their Sleep Quota

We now know that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to illnesses and diseases, so one way to keep the immune systems of your little ones strong is simply to ensure that they practise good sleep hygiene, by doing things such as keeping the bedroom is as dark as possible, and going to bed at the exact same time every night.

Try to get them to nap during the day, infants will need about as much as 16 hours of sleep every day, while for toddlers, it’s somewhere around 11 to 14 hours a day, and between 10 and 13 hours for preschool-aged kids.

4. Introduce More Physical Activity

Exercise is an excellent way to get your child’s immune system strong and resilient, exercise for kids should never be physically gruelling of course, but making time to have them join you for a little light exercise, particularly outdoors, can be a huge immune booster for kids.

Encourage them to go cycling with the family, or even hiking if you can. Having them join you in these activities can help to introduce a healthy way of living from a young age that they’re more likely to carry through to adulthood.

5. Introduce Good Hygiene Habits

When it comes to actually boosting your child’s immune system, hygiene is probably not the first thing to spring to mind, but it plays an important part in not only preventing illnesses from occurring in the first place but also in lessening the stress on your child’s immune system. Teach them to wash their hands well using soap and water, especially before mealtimes and after going to the bathroom and touching pets etc.

6. Kick The Butt

Now you may have heard this 100 times before, but if either you or your partner smoke, it’s in your child’s best interest that you quit (as well as your own). Cigarette smoke contains more than 7000 harmful chemicals, and many of them can cause irritation to the cells of your child’s body, also possibly killing these cells.

Secondhand smoke makes your little one more susceptible to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma, it could also have an effect on their intelligence and neurological development.

7. Press Pause On Antibiotics

It’s a recipe for immune disaster if every time your child gets the sniffles, your paediatrician hands out antibiotics like they’re candy, or you insist that they do. Antibiotics are only meant for conditions caused by bacteria, and most childhood illnesses are not bacterial, but viral.

Antibiotics can do more harm than good so it’s important to only use them when absolutely necessary, abuse of antibiotics can actually lead to future antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections so make sure it’s bacterial before making use of them.

Here’s To Your Child’s Healthy Immune System

Getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to boosting your child’s immunity and should be the very first measures you take. While they’re more important than introducing supplements to boost your child’s immune system, don’t write off supplements completely, as there are times when they may be needed, such as if you’re struggling to get your child to try new foods.

While it may be difficult to make these 7 changes at first, if you take some time to think about it, you can come up with brilliantly creative ways to incorporate them into you and your child’s everyday life.