While little ones immune systems are growing it's considered normal for children to get a number of colds and infections per year which actually helps build stronger immune systems for later in life, according to Henry Ukpeh, a paediatrician in Trail, BC, confirms that it’s normal for toddlers to get sick when they start Daycare care as many as eight to 12 colds in the first 12 months. But a few simple tricks can help minimize the chance of infection, and to lessen the severity and longevity of illness if the sniffles do make it into your home.
Sleep is known to increase our resistance to illness at a cellular level, so ensuring everyone gets adequate time between the sheets is a great way to keep immunity on track. While children's sleep requirements differ slightly from child to child, the following is a general guide.
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|Age||Recommemended amount of sleep|
|Infants||9-12 hours plus a few naps per day|
|Toddlers||11- 14 ours per day naps included|
Fresh fruit and vegies are great for your children. For many reasons and during the cold and flu season they provide large amounts of necessary nutrients to ensure everyone stays strong and fit. "Fruits and vegies are powerhouses of immune boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals," says Emily Burgess, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia. Vitamin C is known to be a major factor in healthy immunity, so eating vibrant and delicious foods such as kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli etc. will all give your immune system a fighting chance. Vitamin C is also known to be a natural antihistamine, so if your ailment is hay fever, rather than a cold, it can help you there too. The bioflavonoids present in citrus fruit can have powerful anti-allergy effects.
Whether we're talking about colds and flus or various other childhood afflictions, hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others," says general practitioner Nealie Barker. "Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Hand washing with soap removes germs from hands." Using soap and water, and taking your time to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before and after food handling and touching public areas, can be very beneficial. If you're not sure a place you're visiting will have hand washing facilities, such as a park, it can be a good idea to take hand sanitizer with you.
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