4 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Child's Immune System
Children need to build up their immune systems against infections during the first years of their life. The more parents can help them develop healthy defenses, the better they will be prepared for meeting new friends at the playground and in school, and for fending off illnesses in the long term. Consider these four ways to naturally boost your child’s immune system.
Bodies—especially little ones—need a good amount of rest to recharge and recover in as natural a way as possible. Sleep is essential for supporting a child’s growth and development, ability to learn and pay attention, and for creating healthy habits. Sleeping bolsters your child's physical, mental, and emotional health and provides a great foundation for acquiring a strong immune system. A good general rule is 12 to 16 hours of sleep for children under six, and 9 to 12 hours for children up to 12 years of age.
Getting your child used to drinking water and staying hydrated has great immediate and lasting benefits. Water not only supports the brain and helps with focus and concentration, it is needed for healthy muscles and organs, regulates temperature and creates lymph—the liquid that destroys bacteria and viruses and flushes out toxins and cellular waste. This is why water it a great way to naturally boost your child's immune system. It also supports digestion and helps avoid tummy aches and constipation. Be a good role model by filling up your reusable water bottles and bringing them along on your family adventures.
A balanced diet is essential for all of us—even more so for children—to maintain healthy mineral levels, the most important being calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They help muscles and bones grow, provide energy, support the nervous system, and help fight off infections and boost immunity. Minerals are best absorbed by the body when coming from food. Make sure to prepare meals that include ingredients from all five groups: dairy products or dairy alternatives, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, nuts, and legumes.
Because mineral deficiencies can lead to growth and developmental delays, consider adding Schuessler cell salts to your child’s daily routine. Discovered by Dr. Wilhelm Schuessler in the late 19th century in Germany, these 12 cell salts provide small amounts of naturally occurring mineral compounds in the body and help the body assimilate minerals and nutrients from food. Also called tissue salts, cell salts are recommended by complementary and family health providers and do not lead to over-supplementation in children or adults.
Key cell salts for children’s health are:
- Calcarea Phosphorica #2 and Calcarea Fluorica #1 for healthy bone dentin and bone enamel, respectively
- Ferrum Phosphoricum #4 to recover from exhaustion, fight off fever and infection
- Kali Muriaticum #5 for recurring colds, ear and throat infections
- Magnesia Phosphorica #8 for teething and toothaches
- Natrum Phosphoricum #10 for baby colic and infant reflux
- Silicea #12 for bone strength, overall stamina, and bed-wetting
Physical activity is encouraged for children of all ages. Active playing with toddlers and moderate exercise for children four years of age and older builds muscles, teaches coordination and team skills, strengthens the heart, and improves digestion, happiness, and sleep quality. Exercise also stimulates circulation of the healthiest cells in the body, thus naturally strengthening your child’s immune system. Consider taking your child hiking or biking, or sign them up for yoga classes, sports camps, and clinics.
Developing your child's immunity is essential in helping them grow into healthy adults. Remember these methods to support them in building their defenses and adopting a healthy lifestyle.