Simple Ways to Boost Your Child's Immunity at School
Did you know that your little monster is producing antibodies (think of them as soldier proteins that help fight foreign invaders) from about six months of age?
However, the immune system is not fully developed until about four or five years old. So, by the time your child goes to primary school they are equipped to deal with ubiquitous bacterium and viruses. To help support the immune system we’ve passed advice down from generation to generation on how to abate health problems, often by implementing a familiar ‘go-to’ tool-kit when seasonal ills strike. Common health supporting saviours might be vitamin C, zinc or good-old chicken soup. Whether you choose dietary application or reach for a concentrated, convenient supplement form, it can be a useful way to keep your child on top form.
Allergies and food intolerances are common place amongst children, some of which are infantile and will dissipate with age, and others that will remain for part or all of their life. You will know what works for your child and no doubt you will have protocols in place for dealing with flare-ups. In a school environment where you’re not in control it is important to communicate specific details with relevant teachers. If you advise the school of your child’s symptoms, medications and what the emergency procedure would be, together, you can build a management plan should a situation arise.
The sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D, the nutrient we associate with sunshine, something that can be pretty sparse here in the UK! And getting enough of this valuable nutrient is a challenge through diet alone.
Vitamin D is important no matter what your age, as it helps the body to absorb calcium from the foods we eat. Together, this powerful pair build bones and keep them strong. Not only does vitamin D support bones but it has a role to play in heart health and fighting infections.
Perhaps you recall the summer days where you were outside riding your bike, playing in the garden or making daisy-chains in the park? For an increasing number of children today their time outdoors in the sunshine is limited, with digital devices taking most of the blame. Adding good food sources of vitamin D to your child’s diet such as, oily fish (yuck! I hear your munchkins shout!), milk, yoghurt and fortified cereals is a good course to follow. Adding a vitamin D supplement is a great way to support your child’s growth and development.
Scraped knees, blisters, scabs, warts, verrucas – the list is endless! kids love to play, and little dramas happen. Stocking up your first aid cabinet and checking all your pharmaceutical products are within date is a worthwhile exercise when your child is of school age. Mishaps happen so be prepared with the essentials.
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Keri Filtness has worked in the Nutrition Industry for 19 years. She is regularly called upon for her professional comments on health and nutrition related news. Her opinions have been featured by BBC3, Prima, Vitality, The Mirror, Woman’s Own and Cycling Weekly, amongst others. She has also worked one to one with journalists, analysing their diets and health concerns and recommending changes and additions, where appropriate.