Common Questions

Boost Your Child’s Immune System

By: Britt Davis, MPAS, PA-C

Boost Your Child’s Immune System


Doesn’t every parent dread the following scenarios: starting an infant in daycare for the first time, preparing for the first day back to school, talking with your friend about the upcoming flu season, buying a gift for the birthday party at the place with all the inflatables? Cue the instant worry and hand sanitizer! We all can rest easier if we follow these simple recommendations to help support our children’s ability to fight off the common cold and older viral illnesses.

First, a healthy body needs nutrients and adequate rest. Make healthy food a priority for your family. Foods rich in nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium, and zinc, will foster optimal immune systems. These foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats! The less processed the food, the more likely it will be packed with nutrients a child needs to be healthy. Sleep and adequate rest is also a great way for the immune response to be as strong as ever to fight off allergens, viruses, and bacteria.

Supplementation with a multivitamin and vitamin D can also we helpful for age-appropriate children. This is typically four years and older, but you should consult your provider on what vitamin and supplement best suits your child’s age and weight.

Staying active is also vital in keeping our body healthy. There are organized sports opportunities in communities, but if this is not an option, then a 20-minute bike ride or walk a day would be a great way to get little bodies on the move. As the weather gets colder, get creative on ways to encourage active bodies, such as fort building and relay races indoors. It is important to remember to wash hands before and after activities. Another great tip is removing shoes before entering your home to limit the amount of outside germs coming into the home.

Physical touches, such as hugs from loved ones and quality time, are also great for our mental well-being. In the busyness of flu season and less daylight, plan quality time with your kids to fill their emotional tanks, even if it is five minutes at bedtime, to give extra hugs for additional immune support.

Taking a few extra minutes to follow these simple steps may prevent a visit to the pediatrician this fall and winter season. It will also allow your family to unite in making your health a priority for everyone.

Britt Davis, MPAS, PA-C

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