Immunity is the ability of the body to fight infections, diseases and various illnesses. It is the defence structure of a human that keeps a person fit and healthy. Immunity is particularly low in infants and toddlers and slowly builds up as a child grows older.
Why is immunity important?
Look around yourself. What do you see when you look outside your window? Do you see lush green trees that protect the environment from pollutants, or do you see a clean environment? Very rarely.
Pollutants emerging from vehicles, air purifiers, refrigerators, insect repellents and other toxic chemicals and gases constantly barrage the environment around us. This affects the air that we breathe.
Our food is loaded with innumerable fertilizers and chemicals. The improvement in storage and transportation facilities ensures that we receive food that has been harvested several days back. This reduces the nutrient value of the food we eat.
Our climate is changing almost every day with unexpected rains and unexpected seasonal changes. Not to mention newer viruses and epidemics such as the recent deadly Coronavirus which is quickly spreading in Asian countries.
In the wake of this scenario, it is imperative that we take measures to boost our and our children’s immunity levels.
How to boost immunity in children?
Children are more susceptible to fall prey to various infections. This tends to be more during changing seasons. Some of the ways in which we can help our children boost their immunity are-
- Make them eat local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fruits that are in the season are especially loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that protect the body from various illnesses. Local fruits are the best since they have travelled lesser distances to reach you and grown ethically. Some ways in which you can identify a local food are that they should have an Indian name and do not have stickers on them. Therefore, choose a Peru over a Kiwi.
- Ensure they get enough sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise leading to many health complications from weak bones to lack of concentration. Since Sunlight is the only source of Vitamin D ensure they are exposed to the sun early in the morning.
- Ensure physical activity. A minimum of 1 hour of physical activity is the least required for young children. It can be cycling, playing games, running, sports, swimming etc. Exercise improves blood circulation and keeps the mind healthy too.
- Refrain from making them pop pills or syrups for minor illnesses. This is the most common and most hampering habit of our generation. Let your child cough and sneeze it out. Only when the body learns to defend itself from minor diseases will it be able to fight bigger illnesses. Make proper judgements about administering medicines.
- Teach them about maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness right from childhood. Habits such as washing hands before and after meals, taking regular baths, washing feet after playing, changing into clean clothes and brushing twice a day go a long way in ensuring that your child is free of infections.
A healthy body and a healthy mind are closely interlinked. A healthy child has higher concentration levels in school, rarely misses school or important events and is happier. St. Mary’s High School, the best SSC school in Kalyan hopes that all its students remain healthy and achieve the best in life.