During winter, the cold, damp weather, cooped-up conditions and proliferation of germs and viruses can all too often conspire to make the winter months the trickiest in terms of ensuring your child’s good health. There are, however, ways to help boost your child’s immune system, making her less likely to succumb to the sore throats and sniffles that are so prevalent at this time of year.
Tempting as it is, try not to hibernate. Getting out and about in the fresh air is invigorating and will boost basic fitness, which is proven to increase germ-fighting cells in children and adults alike. Also, while winter is the perfect excuse to eat lots of warming comfort food, don’t do so at the expense of fruit and vegetables. Carrots, green beans and oranges all contain immunity-boosting phytonutrients, such as carotenoids and vitamin C, which help protect the body against viruses. Another important factor in the fight against winter illness is sleep, a lack of which will make your child more susceptible to every passing bug.
Try to make sure that your child has her required naps and goes to bed on time, as sleep helps the body’s immune system attack harmful microbes, which can cause rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhoea. Finally, teach your child to be vigilant about hygiene and regular hand-washing, as this is her first defence against the spread of germs and will reduce stress on her immune system.
This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article