5 tips for strengthening children's immunity in cold weather

5 tips for strengthening children's immunity in cold weather

The school year is in full swing, along with the season of colds and flu, which spread like wildfire among children's groups. The best defense is primarily strengthening children's natural immunity. In the article, we'll advise you on how to do it!

Why focus on boosting children's immunity?

For a parent, nothing is worse than a sick child. It means witnessing their suffering, rushing to doctors, getting medical exams, and arranging care. Moreover, many enjoyable leisure activities, such as cycling, which we love so much, often have to be put on hold. However, many viral infections can be prevented by boosting children's immunity.

Our immune system employs various mechanisms to defend the body against foreign substances, bacteria, and viruses. We distinguish between two types of immunity: innate (natural) and acquired immunity, which can be strengthened, for example, through lifestyle choices. On the other hand, some factors can weaken it, such as:

  • improper diet,
  • overcoming infection,
  • overuse of antibiotics and medications,
  • unhygienic environments,
  • prolonged stress and negative emotions.

Tips on naturally boosting children's immunity

It's not rocket science or discovering America. Many of the following tips have been passed down from our parents, grandparents, or pediatricians since childhood, but sometimes we simply forget to follow them. Let's remind ourselves of them:

Adequate Sleep

Quality sleep ensures not only proper growth and body regeneration but also supports immunity. Without enough sleep, immunity and overall health can suffer. Remember, children aged 4 to 12 should sleep 10 hours a day, while younger children need up to 14 hours daily. Limiting "screen time," such as TV or mobile phone use, especially before bedtime, can improve sleep quality. Establishing a bedtime routine that includes activities like a relaxing bath or bedtime story can also help promote good sleep.

Balanced Diet

A quality and nutritious diet is essential for strong immunity. Many immune cells are found in the gut. You don't need any miraculous superfoods; a diverse selection of the right foods is much more important. These foods provide vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Children's diets should include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products (except in cases of intolerance or allergies), lean meats and fish, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. Avoid processed foods and excessive amounts of salt and refined sugar in products. Sweets and sugary drinks certainly do not benefit immunity.

Proper Hygiene

Maintaining hygienic practices and a clean environment is important. However, excessive hygiene can paradoxically reduce a child's immunity and contribute to illness and allergies. From a young age, children should adopt habits such as washing hands after using the toilet, coughing, before meals, or after being outdoors, as well as regular teeth brushing. Excessive disinfection of hands and surfaces at home, and efforts to limit a child's contact with "dirty" outdoor environments, can be counterproductive. It is advisable to avoid crowded places such as shopping centers, especially during viral outbreaks.

Exercise and Outdoor Activities

It is scientifically proven that regular exercise contributes to the production of natural antibodies in our bodies, weakening viruses and bacteria. Simply getting children accustomed to at least half an hour of physical activity daily is beneficial. Cycling is a great form of exercise—it doesn't strain the musculoskeletal system, promotes proper psychomotor development, takes place outdoors in fresh air, can be managed by almost anyone, and is a fantastic leisure activity for the whole family. If you take out the bike during the autumn months, you help your child naturally acclimate, which also strengthens their immunity.

Supplements to Support Children's Immunity

During times of increased respiratory illnesses, it can be beneficial to consider nutritional supplements. In the autumn and winter months, it's recommended to supplement especially with vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and probiotics. Vitamin D, in particular, is difficult to obtain solely from sunlight during colder months, so supplementation is advisable. In cases of weakened immunity, beta-glucan, a natural supplement from oyster mushrooms, can also help support the immune system. If you prefer not to buy supplements, increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in your child's diet.

We wish all little bikers strong immunity so that nothing stops them from riding their bikes on the asphalt. :)

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