Support Your Child's Immune System
Keeping Kids Healthy This Fall
Health in childhood sets the stage for a lifetime of optimal health and wellness—and the key to a healthy child is a healthy immune system.
Children with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and illness in general. These children tend to get sick frequently and have longer recovery times. For example, they may get frequent colds or respiratory infections, ear infections, have recurrent skin rashes or digestive troubles … the list goes on.
Children with strong immune systems, on the other hand, become sick less often, and when they do become sick, the illness has a shorter duration. Recovering quickly is a good sign that the immune system is functioning well.
Tips for supporting healthy immunity:
1) Excellent daily nutrition – Good eating habits form in childhood. An ideal diet consists of whole foods and is balanced with adequate protein and a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. Also important is to address any nutritional deficiencies, which make children in particular more susceptible to illnesses. For instance, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium, and folic acid, as well as inadequate essential fatty acids.
2) Caution with snacks—Most of the snack products that children consume are highly processed and loaded with sugar, salt, preservatives and food additives that are not digestible and actually weaken the immune system. Snacking can also be an issue if children fill up on these nutritionally-void options rather than choosing healthy home-cooked meals.
3) Choose non-toxic, eco-friendly products — It is unavoidable to circumvent toxins in the environment, but we can take steps to directly reduce toxicity in our households, which will reduce the amount of chemicals that our children are directly exposed to, as well as help to create a healthier environment for everyone.
4) Adequate sleep – Children`s bodies repair and regenerate while sleeping. Sleep deprivation depresses immune functioning, elevates inflammatory chemicals, and leaves children prone to infections, stress, and mood disorders.
5) Rejuvenate children`s lymphatic system – The lymph system consists of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and organs, which are an important component of our body’s immune system. The primary job of the lymphatic system is to fight infections, and to eliminate toxins from the body. Regular exercise, adequate hydration with clean drinking water, and lymph-support supplements are helpful in supporting lymphatic health.
6) Consider consulting with a qualified practitioner for appropriate immune-boosting options such as vitamin & mineral supplements, homeopathic remedies, and botanical (herbal) tinctures that are suitable for children.
Dr. Bartolini is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with clinic locations in Oakville and Toronto. For more information, please visit www.doctorbartolini.com