Autumn is a favorite season, with crisp air, crunchy leaves and all the treats of the season. But it is also time for illness to strike, with back to school keeping children close together and cooler weather forcing everyone indoors.
Boosting your child’s immunity can help protect them through fall’s cold and flu season. Read on for ways to strengthen their immune system and promote good health.
1. Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
The phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables boost the immune system to help fight off colds and flu. Fruits and vegetables that contain the most vitamin C, like yellow bell peppers, oranges, cherries and kiwi, boost lymphocyte activity and support the immune system even more.
2. Keep a Healthy Sleep Routine
Establish a bedtime and enforce a bedtime routine to help children sleep easily and well. School-aged children need 10 hours of sleep every night in order to maintain optimal health. Regular sleep cycles help regulate the immune system and produce crucial antibodies. Having a cough can keep your children from getting the rest that they need. Using a homeopathic cough medicine for kids can help them get a good night’s rest without the added sugar and chemicals found in other over-the-counter treatments.
3. Wash Your Hands
It seems simple, the CDC estimates that simple handwashing can eliminate over 20% of the incidents of common colds in a community; the number for children in schools is even higher. Remind your children of proper handwashing techniques like using soap and hot water, washing both the front and back of both hands and singing a song to be sure they are washing long enough.
If they have to cough, remind them to cough into their elbow. If they forget and cough into their hand they should go wash up immediately. If their cough is lingering, washing hands and boosting immunity is how to get rid of a persistent cough.
4. Get Daily Exercise, Preferably Outdoors
Daily sun exposure is the best way to ensure your body is getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a major role in your body’s immune function. Vitamin D supports the performance of the white blood cells in the body, boosting your body’s ability to fight off germs and infections.
In addition to the benefits it provides your immune system, outdoor exercise can reduce anxiety, provide social interaction and help you get a good night’s sleep. Even 15 minutes outdoors every day can noticeably improve health and well-being.
5. Treat Illnesses Promptly
If you begin to feel under the weather, the faster you can begin treatment the faster you will feel better. You may also be able to stop an illness from developing into something more serious. For instance, at the first sign of fever or chills, reach for an over-the-counter flu medication to relieve your symptoms and stop your illness before it becomes severe.
Actively following these five suggestions for healthy activity can help you strengthen your child’s immunity during the fall months.