10 Ways to Boost A Child’s Immune System
With children going back to school and flu season fast approaching, now more than ever it’s important to keep your child’s immune system functioning at a high level. Having a robust immune system is vital for overall health. This is because the immune system is fundamental for helping protect your child’s body against pathogens like parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Here are ten ways on how to boost a child’s immune system:
1. Try Essential Oils
Some essential oils offer a natural alternative to traditional medical immune-boosters (1)(2)(3). Eucalyptus and oregano both possess antibacterial properties that may boost the immune system. Using an essential oil diffuser can help spread the oils around your house so that the entire family can enjoy the benefits.
2. Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Sleep
Maintaining a good sleep schedule is vital for the health and wellness of your child’s entire body. (4)(5) Having a healthy sleep schedule has been shown to not only boost the immune system, but neurological function and T cell count (T cells are responsible for fighting infection). Healthy sleep also lowers your risk for health problems. For information on how to sleep better and the mechanics of good sleep, read this article.
3. Give Your Child a Multivitamin Daily
Taking supplements like zinc helps boost metabolism, combat colds, facilitate wound healing, prevent eye disease to name a few. (6) Vitamin C is another well-known supplement that helps protect your heart, eyes, and skin in addition to boosting the immune system. (7)
4. Give Your Child Pre- and Probiotics
Taking pro- and prebiotics has been shown to help facilitate good overall health and wellness. (8)(9) Pro- and prebiotics help improve gut function, boost neurological function, facilitate good heart health, and improve metabolic health.
5. Make Sure Your Child Eats Enough Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain essential micronutrients that improve overall health. Eating nuts and seeds has been shown to help with heart disease, diabetes, brain health, inflammation, and oxidative stress. (10)
6. Encourage Your Child to Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain essential probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. (11) Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps to reduce oxidative stress and boost overall health and wellness. Fruits and vegetables have also been shown to possess antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, and antiviral properties.
7. Encourage Exercise and Active Living
Having an active lifestyle is essential for good health. Enrolling children in sports helps improve heart fitness and strengthen bones and muscles. Children who play sports have also been shown to have better grades, higher confidence, good classroom behaviors, and improved social skills. (12)(13)
8. Encourage Outdoor Play
Spending time outdoors not only has exceptional physical benefits, but it also helps children develop a stronger immune system and makes them more resistant to allergies. (14) By enjoying the sunshine, children will experience better sleep, improved mood, an increase in vitamin D, which helps with bone development, and a better microbiome. (15)
9. Teach Good Hygiene
Proper hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent sickness and help eradicate germs. (16) The most common ways germs enter the body are through the mouth, nose, and eyes, which are also the most frequent places children touch without realizing it. Germs from unwashed hands not only enter the body through touch, but are also transferred to door knobs, other people’s bodies, and toys.
10. Promote Good Gut Health
Good gut health has a direct correlation to a healthy immune system. (17) This relationship hinges on the fact that 70 – 80% of the immune system is housed in the gut. (18) To help improve gut health, make sure your child gets enough foods that are high in probiotics like sauerkraut, greek yogurt, and kefir.
Having a strong immune system is essential for the overall health and wellness of your child. You can help boost your child’s natural immune system by having a good sleep schedule, encouraging team sports and outdoor play, and teaching proper hygiene practices. As a parent, you can also boost your child’s immune system by providing them with a balanced, healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. By having a strengthened immune system, your child will be able to experience a better, happier quality of life.