Tags: Health Topics | immune system | for | kids

Building a Healthy Immune System for Kids

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 06:55 PM

For kids, a healthy immune system is the last thing on their minds, but parents and caregivers know that's the key to fewer sick days.

One of the easiest ways to build the immune system of kids is to encourage proper hygiene and frequent hand washing. Teaching kids to wash their hands properly reduces diarrhea by 31 percent and respiratory illnesses by 21 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Another way to boost the immune system for kids is by limiting their sugar intake. Sugar suppresses the immune system and causes inflammation, according to Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of "Lick the Sugar Habit." Inflammation in the body causes many types of diseases and lowers the body’s natural ability to fight bacteria and viruses.

Essential oils are becoming more and more popular as a way to build the immune system for kids. Essential oils can be applied topically and diffused in the air. It is not recommended for children to orally ingest the oils. On her website, essential oils educator and advocate Elizabeth Van Buren writes that tea tree oil, eucalyptus, citrus oils, and peppermint help with upper respiratory colds.

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Getting a good night’s rest is also important for kids' immune systems. The immune system is made up of many types of cells and one of them is T-cells, which play a major role in the system's function.

“A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived,” Dr. Diwakar Balachandran, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, tells WebMD. “And inflammatory cytokines go up. ... This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.”

Robust immune systems in kids help them grow up to be healthy adults, so following these practices should help keep them healthy now and for the future.

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For kids, a healthy immune system is the last thing on their minds, but parents and caregivers know that's the key to fewer sick days.
immune system, for, kids
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2016-55-01
Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 06:55 PM
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