24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Too Much Takeout Food Threatens Kids' HealthMom-to-Be's High Blood Sugar May Raise Baby's Odds for Heart DefectsFamily Meals Serve Up Better Behaved KidsTech at Bedtime May Mean Heavier KidsNew Hope for Kids With Multiple Food AllergiesHeath Tip: Give Age-Appropriate ToysPrenatal Sugar Intake May Increase Asthma Risk in OffspringMoms' Soda Habit in Pregnancy May Boost Kids' Odds for AsthmaPreventing Childhood Accidents at HomeDating Violence Tied to Spankings in ChildhoodSmartphone Pics Help Docs ID Kids' Skin ConditionMore Than Half Today's Children Expected to Be Obese at 35Time Management for Busy Families60 Percent of U.S. Kids Could Be Obese by Age 35Health Tip: Is Stress Interfering With Your Child's Sleep?Health Tip: Travel Safely With a ChildShaming Overweight Kids Only Makes Things WorseFlu Shot Could Help Your Kid Avoid HospitalHealth Tip: Safety Advice for the HolidaysAccurate Diagnosis Seen With Photographs of Skin ConditionsIf Dad Has Depression, Kids Might Develop It, TooKids Still Getting Risky Painkiller After TonsillectomySport Sampling in Children Tied to More Exercise in AdolescenceMusic, Video Help Sixth-Graders Master Hands-Only CPRChildhood Spanking Could Heighten Adult Mental Health WoesHealth Tip: Prevent Germs at the Doctor's OfficeInfluenza Vaccines in Pediatric ERs Likely Cost-EffectiveCooling Down Sibling Rivalries When They Heat UpDoes All That Social Media Time Harm Young Minds?Helping Children Cope When a Mass Tragedy Strikes'Good Ole Days' Were Better for Kids' Health, Adults SayTV Ads Still Push Unhealthy Foods at KidsSchool-Based Food Co-op Tied to Improved Diets in ChildrenWorking With Your School NurseChildren of Immigrants Less Likely to be Up-to-Date on ShotsHealth Tip: Have Fun on Halloween, Despite AsthmaHelmets Too Rarely Used in Baseball and SoftballKids' High Blood Pressure Often OverlookedKeep Halloween Spooky, But SafeKids' Food Allergies, Especially to Peanuts, Are on the RiseHealth Tip: Talk To Your Kids About a TragedyHealth Tip: Defining CyberbullingASA: Botox Injections Beneficial for Migraine in ChildrenTrauma Takes a Toll on Half of U.S. KidsMedical Marijuana Won't Help Most Sick KidsScoliosis Screenings Can Help Catch Spine Problem EarlyArthritis Can Strike ChildrenPlan an Allergy-Safe Halloween for Your ChildHappier Mealtimes, Healthier Eating for KidsAAP Releases List of Often-Unnecessary Tests
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

8 Ways to Help Kids Dodge Germs

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 9th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of ways parents can help give a boost to their child's immune system, a family doctor suggests.

"The immune system helps us fight infections," said Dr. Palak Shroff, a family medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

"Immunity develops over time, so the more someone gets exposed, the more the immune system develops," Shroff explained in a center news release.

"Kids' whole environment is new, but over time, their immunity will develop and get better," she added.

Shroff suggested eight keys to helping children minimize their risk of catching every cold and virus that comes their way:

  • Breast-feeding is the first step. It is an important way to help your child develop a strong immune system. "During breast-feeding, the mother's immunity transfers to the child," Shroff said.
  • Vaccination is another crucial factor. Receiving all recommended vaccines prevents kids from catching potentially dangerous illnesses, such as whooping cough, measles, mumps, hepatitis and chicken pox. "All children over 6 months of age should get a flu shot. Sometimes small kids get the flu and that develops into pneumonia, then they struggle to get better for a long time," Shroff noted.
  • Offer kids a healthy diet. Parents should make sure children receive balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the immune system.
  • Kids need sufficient sleep. If children aren't well-rested, their bodies lose their natural defense mechanisms and have a tougher time fighting off illness, Shroff said.
  • Physical activity is also important. Getting plenty of exercise promotes better blood circulation. This helps the lungs and heart work better, which boosts immunity, she added.
  • Teach children good hygiene. Remembering to wash their hands and cover their coughs are simple habits that even young children should be encouraged to develop.
  • Protect kids from cigarette smoke. Like any allergen, secondhand smoke will harm a child's immunity. Kids who are exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis tend to develop respiratory infections.
  • Avoid overuse of antibiotics. When these drugs are overused, bacteria can develop resistance to them. So when your child catches a bacterial illness that would normally be treated with an antibiotic, the treatment may not work. It's best to let most viral illnesses run their course, Shroff advised.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about healthy living for kids.