How to strengthen the child's immunity in spring. Family doctor's advice

The well-known phrase “snotty childhood” causes a genuine smile on our faces and plunges us into the world of warm memories. And at the same time, it awakens in us exciting experiences and fear for the fragile body of children of school and preschool age. After all, it is during this period that active acquaintance with the new pathogenic microflora takes place in kindergartens, schools and the gradual formation of immunity (the full synthesis of immunoglobulins begins at the age of 6-7, and the final formation of the immune system approaches the puberty period). And the main task of parents is to help cope with the new immune load, providing all the necessary conditions for maintaining health.

The seasonality of exacerbation of colds in children is the end of winter and the beginning of spring, when the activity of the sun is weak and vitamin D is synthesized little, and all the reserves of vitamins and nutrients in the body are running out. That is why it is very important during this period to protect the child from diseases and strengthen the immune system.

It is not possible to single out any specific recommendations that will reduce the incidence of morbidity in children. Here, general strengthening procedures (hardening, sports), a balanced diet, a healthy family lifestyle, parents' refusal from bad habits (smoking) are more important.

The role of vitamins in the immunity of children

And if we talk about the "magic pill" - drunk and healthy, then, unfortunately, this does not exist! Not a single complex “vitamin” or dietary supplement has yet affected the duration of the disease and reduced the frequency of acute respiratory viral infections in children. Their effectiveness has not been proven. Complex vitamins can be prescribed for children with certain gastrointestinal problems, but in this case, you need to look for a specific vitamin deficiency and make up for it. Everything else works like a placebo.

There are specific vitamins and supplements that can help boost immunity:

Vitamin D – main source is skin synthesis from UV exposure and, to a lesser extent, absorption from food. The recommendation for a preventive dose of vitamin D for children from 1 year old is 600 MO daily without a break for summer time, on an ongoing basis.

Omega-3 - the only source is food (sea fish, mussels, caviar, flax seeds, eggs, dairy products, walnut, soy, etc.).

If the child's diet lacks seafood and other sources of Omega-3, then a supplement can be recommended as a course.

Important! The need and duration of a course of taking vitamin D and Omega-3 is prescribed by a doctor, focusing on the state of health and the diet of the child.

Influence of antiviral drugs on immunity

Prophylactic administration of antiviral drugs, immunomodulators and immunostimulants will also not give the desired effect. There is no evidence of their effectiveness. More than 200 types of the ARVI virus have been discovered, and it is impossible to know exactly which one we are acting on with an antiviral drug.

With immunomodulators and immunostimulants, which are designed to change and stimulate the immune system, the same ambiguity. It is impossible to say with complete certainty that taking these drugs will contribute to the production of antibodies to a particular virus. The work of the immune system is very complex in its structure and has not yet been fully studied. Therefore, uncontrolled intake of these drugs is fraught with serious consequences and can cause a violent reaction of the immune system in the form of allergies and autoimmune diseases.

In most cases (over 90%), ARI is caused by a virus, not a bacterium, so antibiotics will not be effective. There is a global problem with antibiotic resistance in the world, which occurs with the frequent and incorrect use of antibiotics, when bacteria become resistant to antimicrobials.

How else can you support the child's immunity in the spring?

Negative factors affecting children's immunity:

  • stress ;
  • malnutrition;
  • unsanitary conditions;
  • physical fatigue;
  • physical inactivity;
  • chronic diseases.

Let's take a closer look at each.

Stress

Severe and prolonged stress depresses the function of the immune system, blocking the production of antibodies in response to the appearance of a pathogen in the body. Therefore, it is very important during the recovery period not to burden the child with studies, not to conflict with him and not to expose him to strong emotional outbursts (both negative and positive). Quiet joint games, reading books, walks in the fresh air are recommended. Improper nutrition: fatty, heavy, meager and monotonous food (fast food, pastries, foods with preservatives and flavor enhancers, etc.) lead to a lack of vitamins and nutrients in the child's body, which negatively affects the synthesis of immune system cells, 80% of which are in the intestine.

Nutrition

Fractional and balanced meals 5-6 times a day (the enzymatic system of the child is not yet fully formed and is not able to digest a large amount of food for one dose) and the presence of vegetables and fruits in the daily diet will have a positive effect on health. In the spring, vitamin compotes from dried fruits, frozen berries and fruits are useful to strengthen children's immunity.

Unsanitary conditions

Banal washing of hands with soap after a walk, before eating and after using the toilet significantly reduces the risk of acute respiratory infections. Another factor that reduces immunity in children is infection with worms. Do not allow children to pick up objects on the street, touch homeless animals, play in the toilet. Do a regular wet cleaning and maintain the humidity level (40-60%) in the children's room. If the air in the room is too dry, then the mucous membranes dry out, protecting the body from the penetration of infectious agents.

Physical overwork

It is very important that the child does not overwork during the day and has adequate sleep day and night. And at night, children should sleep 9-11 hours for the proper development of the body. After all, during sleep, children physically develop. Frequent lack of sleep and overindulgence have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of the child, and, accordingly, on the immune system. A well-structured daily routine will help here.

Physical inactivity

A sedentary lifestyle seriously affects the incidence of acute respiratory infections in children. Sitting at home, the baby becomes "greenhouse" and prone to frequent colds outside the home. And exercises in the morning as a ritual, a walk in the fresh air 2 times a day saturate the cells of the body with oxygen, which increases resistance to infections. A daily walk, even in rainy spring weather, develops resistance to cold and damp air, drafts. Such children get sick less than those who spend most of their time indoors.

Clothing for the season

Don't wear 100 fur coats. It is easy for a running, active child in very warm clothing to sweat, become cold, and catch the virus. Listen to the 3-layer rule: the first layer is moisture-wicking thermal underwear, the second layer is a fleece warmer and the third layer is a breathable, windproof jacket or windbreaker.

Also, the gradual hardening of the child is useful (you can start in the spring and continue until late autumn). Pour cold (+-20) and then hot water (+-35) alternately from the palm to the elbow, from the foot to the knee, daily for 5-7 minutes. And do not forget to ask your child if he is cold or hot. After all, adults and children have different susceptibility, and we feel cold or hot in different ways.

Chronic diseases

If a child often suffers from acute respiratory infections, it is necessary to determine whether he has foci of chronic diseases ( tonsillitis, sinusitis, caries, adenoiditis etc.), weakening the immune system. Often and long-term ill children must undergo a medical examination for the correct selection of tactics for the treatment of chronic diseases.

If a child has acute respiratory infections without complications (bronchitis, pneumonia, otitis, cystitis, arthritis, meningitis, etc.) and disappears in 7-10 days, there is nothing to worry about. The kid attends a kindergarten or school and gets sick once a month - this is normal (ARI from 7-10 times a year is considered acceptable). If a child is sick for a long time more than 10 times a year and with complications after SARS, this is a serious cause for concern.

Most often ARVI is caused by the influenza virus, adenovirus, enterovirus, parainfluenza. There are also bacterial pathogens that join after a viral infection: pneumococcus, streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae. Frequently and long-term ill children are recommended vaccination against influenza, pneumococcal, hemophilic, meningococcal infections, etc.).

Vaccination does not give an absolute guarantee that the child will not get sick, but vaccinated children get sick more easily, without complications and quickly recover.

Most of the above recommendations are fairly easy to follow. As for the intake of various drugs, special nutrition, then of course it is better to consult a doctor, since you need to take into account the age of the child, the individuality of the body and other factors.