It is natural for parents to protect their children from harm, including the endless array of germs they are exposed to daily.
As children grow up, they are continuously exposed to various germs, especially in places such as daycare centres and preschool.
Children with low immunity are highly susceptible to various types of infections. The high incidence of infections has led to increased and inappropriate use of antibiotics, which has further resulted in antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance, a widespread problem, takes places when microbes build resistance against the medications intended to kill them, due to overuse.
It is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
The best way to tackle this is to build strong immunity, which naturally protects your child from infections.
Dr Rajesh Kumawat, the head of medical services and clinical development at the The Himalaya Drug Company, shares tips that can help boost your child’s immunity.
Healthy Diet: A healthy diet that comprises all fundamental components, like proteins, minerals, vitamins, micronutrients and unsaturated fats, in optimum quantities, helps build the immunity required to fight against various infections or diseases in children. Citrus fruit, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beans, strawberries, yoghurt, garlic, and ginger all contain immunity-boosting properties.
Adequate Sleep: Sleep deprivation suppresses the functionality of the immune system, which makes children susceptible to infections. Adequate sleep is necessary to rejuvenate the body and mind. Newborns need up to 18 hours of sleep a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours of sleep.
Hygiene: Maintaining healthy hand hygiene before and after each meal, after playtime, handling pets, blowing the nose, using the restroom, and arriving home from daycare, helps prevent infections spreading.
Herbal Solutions: Despite taking proper care, children’s immunity may be affected. Herbal dietary supplements like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and Guggulu (Balsamodendron mukul) can help children stay healthier, as they also help build immunity.
“Naturally obtained supplements strengthen the immune system. Herbs like Guduchi, Yashti Madhu, and Guggulu are natural sources of antioxidants. The antiviral property of Yashtimadhu also helps manage asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughing. The anti-inflammatory property of Guggulu helps reduce inflammation,” said Dr Kumawat.
A combination of herbs may be a safe and effective adjuvant to antimicrobials in the management of recurrent infections. When co-prescribed with antibiotics, herbs may play a role in faster recovery, reducing the duration and cost of therapy, and preventing reinfections.