It can be difficult to protect your child’ immune system during a pandemic, especially when you are dealing with a coronavirus that is being spread by surface contact. That is because children are constantly touching their face, nose and ears. Children also don’t have any concept of the idea of “social distancing”, which means stopping the spread of the virus by avoiding where people are, or by standing three to six feet away from other people. The fact is that children are naturally very social, mingling at school and on playgrounds and typically have a primal inclination to touch and hug each other.

To help your child ward off the secondary bacterial illness caused by the  coronavirus, flu virus or any virus:

Serve five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Go for produce with bright colors. These are plentiful in phytonutrients called carotenoids, which produce infection fighting white blood cells and also interferon. Interferon is an antibody that cloaks human cells, making them impervious to viruses.

Make exercise a family affair. Regular activity can boost the number of natural killer cells in your body as well as your child’s and also help them develop a lifelong habit of exercising. Great activities to try out together including hiking, biking, inline skating, basketball, baseball and tennis.

Make sure that your child gets enough sleep. How much sleep does your kid need to maintain a healthy immune system. An infant may need up to 16 hours of crib time a day, toddlers need 11 and 14 hours a day and preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours. Many children do not get this badly needed reset and repair time for their young bodies because it is difficult to get some peace at day care or school.

Breast-feed your baby. Breast milk contains immune enhancing antibodies and white blood cells that guards against all kinds of viruses, infections and conditions such as diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis and urinary tract infections. It is especially important that newborns consume colostrum, the thin yellow premilk that flows from the breasts during the first few days after birth. The longer you breast feed your child, the more of an advantage you give that child in later life.

Fight the spread of germs through hygiene. The best way to prevent a serious, potentially life-threatening virus from affecting your child is to encourage them to wash their hands often, with soap. Each hand washing should last about twenty seconds. It is also a good idea to teach your child how to blow their nose, without touching their face or others and how to dispose of the used tissue immediately. If your child does get sick, throw out the family’s toothbrushes as most viruses can “hop” from toothbrush to tooth brush, especially if they are in the same holder.

Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke. Second hand smoke contains 7,000 harmful chemicals, many of which irritate or kill cells in the body. Energy that should be spent battling viruses is spent battling the toxic load of second hand smoke instead. Second hand smoke also increases a kid’s risk of SIDS, ear infections and asthma.

It is also important to note, that if your child has a virus, an antibiotic is not going to help that child get better. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and if taken over the long term, can actually impair your child’s immunity.

Maintaining your child’s general health is the best way to help them be immune to all bacterial and viral infections including covid-19. For more information about boosting immunity, nutrition, Toronto weight loss or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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