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How to Keep Your Child's Immune System Strong

November 1st, 2012 Healthy Living

In the course of a single day, your child is inevitably going to be exposed to countless germs and viruses, whether from his or her peers, teachers or simply the surrounding environment. You probably can't protect your little one from every single illness that comes his or her way - but on the other hand, you don't necessarily want to. Speaking with Parents.com, Charles Shubin, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, says that children "enter this world with inexperienced immune systems." It's by catching colds, flus and ear infections that their bodies learn how to battle potentially infectious invaders.

However, there are still plenty of things you can do at home to naturally give your child a healthy immunity boost. Here are a few tips.

1. Serve plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are important elements in both your own and your child's diets, so making an effort to serve more in all three meals might help your bodies produce disease-fighting white blood cells.

2. Plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can weaken your child's immune system, so you want to make sure he or she is getting plenty of rest every night. If your little one attends a day care, all of the activity may make it difficult to fall asleep during naptime. If this is the case, try to put him or her down for the night a little sooner.

3. Be kind to your pediatrician. It can be difficult to let a child's illness run its course without the help of antibiotics, but this could be an important part of his or her immune system's development. If you continually ask doctors to prescribe medicine, you could be doing more harm than good in the long run. Not only could the bacteria or virus become more resistant to the medicine, but your little one's immune system isn't getting as much "experience" as it could out of the infection.