You probably know a child in your neighborhood who seems to never get ill. You may even wonder what the parent is doing differently to ensure their child’s health and wellness. In the winter when germs seem to run rampant, this can be an amazing feat. But there’s really no secret potion for alleviating illnesses. The following are 7 simple habits of children who rarely get sick.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A young child’s immune system can be vulnerable to germs and illnesses. As a parent, you can help keep germs at bay by nourishing their bodies with nutritious foods. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy will boost your kid’s immune system. Foods high in vitamins A, C and D can help prevent colds and other illnesses. Carrots, broccoli, oranges and leafy greens are vitamin rich superfoods. Probiotic yogurt has active cultures to help strengthen the body and prevent your child from falling ill. If your child is a picky eater, include them in your trip to the grocery store. Spend a sufficient amount of time in the produce section of your supermarket with your kids. Here they can help you pick out rainbow colored fruits and veggies. If you include them in the selection process, your child will be more agreeable to what they put in their mouths. Introduce new items into your basket each week such as artichokes, pomegranates, mangos and melons.
Promote Good Hygiene
Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection that causes rash-like symptoms. Because it’s contagious, it’s important to instill good hygiene and cleanliness habits early on in life. The bumps appear smooth and are pink, skin colored or white. Children can pick up viral infections in a number of ways. They can spread the illness through skin-on-skin contact, rubbing or scratching the rash and touching another person. It can also be spread through sharing objects that the virus may have come in contact with such as bedding, clothing, toys and towels. You can creatively teach your child good personal hygiene skills by having them sing the “Alphabet” or “Birthday” song as they wash their hands. When the song is finished, they are done soaping. A child should also be taught to cleanse their hands after going to the bathroom, before meal time and after being out in public.
Get Plenty of Rest
You may be able to get by on little sleep. But a child is young and has different needs than an adult. As a matter of fact, children require as much as 11 hours of shut eye each night. If a child gets the proper amount of rest nightly, they’ll dramatically cut their risk of illnesses and diseases such as diabetes, obesity, flu and other viral infections. A good night’s rest can also boost their energy and brain power for the day ahead.
You probably tried to teach your child good manners early on in life. One of those skills may have been the ability to share with others. While this is a decent trait for your child to have, it’s not healthy when it comes to food and beverages. Infections and viruses are easily passed from child-to-child through saliva. Although you want your kids to be thoughtful and giving, if their mouths have touched an item, it’s best to refrain from passing it around, especially at school, day camp or at a friend’s home.
Regular Physical Activity
With the introduction of video games, T.V. and movies, your child may not be as excited about going out to play as you were when you were young. But regular physical activity is instrumental in the prevention of obesity, diabetes and heart related illnesses. Daily exercise can also significantly reduce your child’s risk of illnesses and infections by as much as 25 to 50 percent each year. If you have difficulties getting your child out, plan outdoor family activities such as bike riding and nature walks. You can also introduce sports to your kids early on through gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, soccer, baseball and basketball.
A child’s immune system is vulnerable during the early stages of their life. This makes it very challenging for them to fight viral infections and other ailments. You can do your part to help ensure your child’s health by practicing the above 5 habits.