Any modern mother knows that the immunity of a child is the ability of his body to resist various infections. In turn, immunodeficiency is a lack of immunity, resulting in children becoming susceptible to a variety of infections.
Features of immunity in children
The reasons for the failure of the immune system of a child can be different: stress, poor living conditions, malnutrition, lack of vitamins, chronic diseases of internal organs.
Immunity can be stimulated; to this end, pediatricians recommend that mothers temper the babies, balance their diet, and give them multivitamins and immune-stimulating agents in the autumn-winter period. Immunity of the child and adult has its own characteristics.
…At the same time, children are much more vulnerable than adults to infectious and viral diseases. Mother Nature cares for newborns and children of the first year of life, whose immunity is supported by immunoglobulins entering the body with mother’s milk. That is why doctors so persistently recommend as long as possible to continue breastfeeding and not transfer children to artificial mixtures before the 7- 8th month of life.
How to strengthen the immunity of a child: methods that really work
During fetal development, resistance to infections of the embryo and fetus is caused by class G immunoglobulins that penetrate the future child’s body together with the mother’s blood. IgG have properties accumulated during 9 months of intrauterine existence. Born, the baby “spends” maternal immunoglobulins, the stock of which dries up after reaching the age of six months. That’s why at the age of over 6 months, children often get sick, if they are not breast-feeding.
Own immunoglobulins begin to be produced by a child’s body not earlier than 6 years of age, and by the end of the puberty period the immune system is finally formed. In kindergarten, and after school kids have to face different infections.
In addition, they are subject to routine vaccination and acquire specific immunity to certain diseases. However, it is nonspecific immunity that forms the body’s ability to withstand numerous forms of acute respiratory viral infection, influenza, bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis,
What determines the strength of the baby’s immunity
Why can one kid run barefoot all day in puddles and do not pick up anything, while the other instantly reacts with a rise in temperature, even for a short walk in wet weather? As can be seen, in the first child the strength of nonspecific immunity is much higher than that of the latter.
Vaccination, of course, is a great thing. Thanks to it, children become immune to measles, chicken pox, pertussis, diphtheria, some forms of hepatitis, etc. However, non-specific immunity cannot be increased by vaccination. A kid can have a full set of vaccinations corresponding to his age, and at the same time every month suffer from tonsillitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, otitis. Unfortunately, these diseases are caused by microorganisms, from which they are not vaccinated.
The main factors influencing the state of nonspecific immunity of the child are as follows:
Conditions of life, livability of life. The poor financial situation of parents, the need for frequent change of residence undermines children’s immunity.
Psychoemotional atmosphere in the family, preschool, school. If parents are not averse to drinking and loudly finding out the relationship with children, if the child is offended in a kindergarten or persecuted in school, the resistance of the body falls. Baby for health need caresses, love and care of loved ones.
Quality of food. The daily diet of the child should include all the necessary vitamins, micro- and macro elements, minerals. Unbalanced nutrition significantly reduces immune defense. The food should be as varied as possible and consist of products of vegetable and animal origin.
Presence of congenital and acquired diseases. The immune system of the child cannot function properly if any of its internal organs are affected by the disease. A fairly common phenomenon in childhood is the weakening of immunity due to intestinal dysbiosis, gastritis, biliary dyskinesia, pyelonephritis, etc.
Weak immunity in the baby should be suspected if he has a cold more than six times a year, and the disease proceeds with complications in the form of angina, pneumonia, and traditional treatment helps poorly.
How to increase immunity in a child:
The main methods that contribute to strengthening the immunity of the child’s organism are hardening, rational nutrition and the use of immune-stimulating agents prescribed by a doctor.
Usually hardening begins from 3-4 years of age. However, if the child was born completely healthy, hardening procedures can begin earlier, even in the first year of life. The first steps to strengthen the immunity of the baby can be the daily rubbing of the body with a wet sponge and pouring the legs with cool water before going to bed (the temperature of the water should be reduced gradually, one degree per week, starting from + 36 ° C).
Tempering for a toddler must be in the form of a game. You can start with the morning exercises, which should be done every day after the awakening of the baby. Let the child for 10-15 minutes repeat simple exercises for mom or dad, and the exercises themselves should take place in a well-ventilated room.
The next stage is rubbing the limbs and the whole body with a sponge soaked in water + 22-25`C; gradually, the temperature can be reduced to +18`C. At the end of water procedures, the baby should be wiped dry and dressed in warm, dry clothes.
Parents should ensure that the baby receives the following vitamins and minerals daily with food:
Vitamin A – is found in carrots, cabbage, vegetable greens, liver, sea fish, milk, butter, egg yolk;
Vitamin C – is a part of citrus, fresh and sauerkraut, hips, blackcurrant, etc.;
Vitamin E – is found in vegetable oil, spinach, lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, whole-grain bread, sprouted wheat, etc .;
Vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B6, B9, B12) – are part of beans, beets, tomatoes, green peas, buckwheat, oatmeal, liver, cottage cheese, cheese, yeast, egg yolk, caviar, beef;
Vitamin D – is contained in cow’s milk and sea fish, as well as in pharmacy fish oil;
Potassium – is a part of melons, citrus, legumes, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, prunes, raisins, baked potatoes;
Magnesium – you can replenish its reserves in the child’s body by means of walnuts, pumpkins, mollusks, shrimps, soybeans, peas, vegetable greens;
Copper – contained in hazelnut, buckwheat, oats, sweet red pepper, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes;
Zinc – is a part of sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, meat, cereals, wheat bran.
Iodine – enters the body with sea kale, seafood, fish, beets, mushrooms, radish, melons, onions, green peas.
Admission of multivitamin preparations
In childhood, there is a rapid growth of all systems and organs, so babies require much more vitamins and minerals than adults. Under adverse conditions, avitaminosis occurs in children much faster and more often than in their parents.
In any pharmacy you can find a rich selection of multivitamins from different manufacturers, both domestic and foreign. However, the child should buy only those that are adapted for children’s use, and it is best to listen to the recommendations of the pediatrician in matters of choice. It is especially important to take multivitamins in those periods of the year when the body most suffers from avitaminosis. As a rule, it is winter and spring.
Reception of immune-stimulating agents:
There are many immune-modulators that increase the activity of the immune system and strengthen the body’s ability to resist infections. In particular, pharmacies can advise interferon , echinacea, immunal , broncho munal , viferon, tsikloferon , anaferon, IRS-19 and a number of other drugs.
Interferon human leukocyte and other interferons refer to bioactive substances that block the development of viral infections in the body and are the prevention of ARVI in children. Cycloferon, anaferon refer to inducers and stimulate self-production of the organism by an interferon. Doctors often prescribe them at the first sign of a viral illness in order to facilitate its course and guarantee a speedy recovery.
Bacterial agents that increase immunity include broncho-munal, imudan, IRS-19 and others. They contain micro-doses of staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus and other pathogens of infectious diseases. Without presenting any danger to the child’s body, they can significantly improve the immunity of the child.
Echinacea , preparations of ginseng, Chinese magnolia vine, etc., are prepared from plant material and have an immuno-stimulating effect. Treatment of them is most often carried out in the autumn-winter period, as well as on the eve of epidemics of seasonal influenza and ARVI.
…The main thing that every mother should understand: immunotherapy should not become a platform for experiments on one’s own child. Take these drugs can only be prescribed by the doctor and after the fact of immunodeficiency will be established on the basis of a survey of the baby and studying the results of his laboratory tests.
According to the World Health Organization, children at an early age tolerate up to 8-10 acute respiratory viral infections per year. If the child’s immune system is functioning normally, he can be ill with different types of influenza and adenovirus infection up to 4-5 times a year in a mild form (with a runny nose, coughing up, low fever) during the year.
…Formation and development of the immune system occur for many years, because immunological memory (not to be confused with innate immunity) is not inherited, but acquired by a person in the development process. Newborn babies are protected by maternal antibodies; what exactly depends on how my mother was ill and what vaccinations she had been given prior to pregnancy. Breastfeeding the baby, she gives him the ready antibodies. Synthesis of own antibodies in newborns is limited.
In the formation of the immune system of the child there are critical periods:
I period (up to 28 days of life of the baby)
At this time, the immune system is suppressed, so newborn babies are very susceptible to viral infections and conditionally pathogenic microbes.
II period (3-6 months of life)
It is caused by the destruction of maternal antibodies in the child’s body. But the penetration of microbes is already developing an immune response due to congenital immunoglobulins. During this period, children are exposed to viruses that cause ARVI (Acute Respiratory Viral Infections). Infants are at increased risk of developing intestinal infections and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system.
If in the first year of life the child did not receive the required amount of maternal antibodies (this is possible if the mother did not suffer from the corresponding diseases, was not vaccinated from them or breast-fed), then it has severe and atypical children’s infections: measles, whooping cough, rubella, chickenpox. It is important to vaccinate a child on a timely schedule of preventive vaccinations. At the same age, food allergies may appear.
III period (2-3 years of life)
At this stage, the child’s contact with surrounding world considerably expand. The primary immune system still has a primary immune response. Although the child has new immunoglobulins, the local immunity system has not yet fully formed, and the child is still very sensitive to viruses and bacteria.
IV period (6-7 years)
Immunoglobulins is responsible for an allergic reaction which reach their maximum values, because it is during this period that chronic diseases are often formed and the frequency of allergic diseases increases.
V period (adolescence)
This is the time of rapid growth and hormonal changes in the body. For girls this is 12-13 years, for boys it is 14-15 years.
The only way to fully protect yourself from infectious diseases is to develop your own immunity, which is formed when you meet microorganisms. Frequent acute respiratory viral infections in the child should in no way be regarded as a malfunction in the functioning of the immune system. If the child is often sick, but the disease proceeds brightly and quickly, the parents should not consider that the baby is immunocompromised.
It is necessary to take care if he suffers from diseases that turn into chronic forms. To mobilize the defenses of the body, it is necessary to use fortifying techniques (hardening, for example) and take multivitamins. It is necessary to include in the diet rye bread, sour-milk products and legumes.
…The maximum contact of the child during epidemics of influenza should be minimized. You can use medicines that protect the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract (influferon , viferon, derinat ). Such proven means of traditional medicine as garlic and onions are very effective. They excrete phytoncides – substances that are deadly for many pathogenic microorganisms.
The simplest recipe:
finely chopped cloves of garlic put on a saucer and put next to the baby, and the head of garlic can even be hung on the neck on a string.
Means for improving the immunity of a child:
This remedy not only improves children’s immunity, but also raises vitality, plus it helps to clear blood, including with leukemia. Take 0.5 kg of carrots and beets, wash, peel, finely chop, fold in a saucepan and pour boiling water over the water to cover the vegetables with 2 fingers. Put the pan on the fire and cook over low heat until the beets are ready, strain.
Then in the broth, add a handful of rinsed fruits raisins and dried apricots, put them on the fire again and bring to a boil, boil for 3-4 minutes. After removing from heat, add 1 tbsp. l. honey and insist in a cool place for 12 hours. Give this medicine to children of 0.5 st. 3 times a day for 1 month.
Hardening and vitamin infusion will strengthen the immunity of the child
The recipe for the preparation of vitamin infusion, containing all the substances most necessary for a weakened organism. Take 2 parts of berries cranberries, and the leaves of nettle and hips – 3 parts. Grind, mix well, brew 4 teaspoons of the collection with a glass of boiling water. Insist 3-4 hours, then strain.
Drink to give the child a glass 2-3 times a day for a month, then pause a month and start giving the infusion again. At the same time start to temper the child, wiping off first with warm water, and then gradually reducing the temperature. After such treatment, the child will get stronger and will cease to hurt