Monday, November 4, 2013

Preventing the Flu

As winter is fast approaching, the common cold and the flu are beginning to set in as well. For this week’s health post, we will offer a few great ways to improve your child’s immunity to ensure that the flu does not arrive at your home.

The first step to ensuring your child stays healthy this winter is making sure your child gets the proper amount of sleep. If your child attends a preschool or daycare, it can be difficult for him or her to sleep from all the excitement of learning and being with friends. Still, it is critical that childcare workers, teachers and parents work together to enable kids to get adequate sleep. Children ages 1 to 3 years old need 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily; often these hours are achieved be taking an afternoon nap and then sleeping about 10 hours at night. On the other hand, children ages 3 to 6 years old require 10 to 12 hours of sleep per day, which can be achieved by your child sleep soundly at night.

Another major step for guarding your child this winter season is to feed him or her fruits and vegetables. Great immunity boosting fruits include strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe, and some great examples of vegetables are tomatoes, broccoli and pumpkin. These fruits and vegetables will strengthen your child’s health by increasing his or her immunity to ward off viruses. Another great food to include is salmon, which is rich in Omega 3 fats; consuming foods that have high level Omega 3 fats increases the production of macrophages, white blood cells that consume bacteria.

Finally, keeping your kids active this winter will not only keep them warm but will help them build up their immunity this season. By exercising or simply having fun, your child’s white blood cells can produce macrophages to fight off possible viruses. Sleeping well at night, eating healthy and getting active are just a few of the steps you can take this winter to keep your child.

These are just a few ways we can protect both our children and ourselves from getting sick this winter.