Most Effective Ways To Improve Your Child's Immunity Against Flu

Most Effective Ways To Improve Your Child's Immunity Against Flu

While monsoons bring respite from the terrible heat, this is the time of concern for parents of small children. The possibility of children catching flu in monsoon, especially those below the age of 5 waking up with a runny nose, sore throat or fever is very high. Once they fall ill, their already weak and developing immunity takes a hit and their appetite suffers. This is by far any mother’s worst nightmare.

Mothers know the superhuman effort it takes to help children recover from an illness, regain their immunity and weight. Why not tackle this problem of flu at the root? The Prevention of Flu can reduce problems like asthma exacerbations, influenza attacks, ear infections and pneumonia to name a few.

It is important to therefore improve the child’s immunity so that they are better capable of fighting germs and hence staying healthy.

Take the pledge to stop flu and help spread awareness around preventing this infection.

What is Flu?

Flu is also known as influenza. It is a contagious viral infection leading to fever, severe aches, cough. It is different from the regular cough and cold and should not be mistaken for it.

Symptoms of Flu (Influenza) in Children:

  • Fever, which may be as high as 103°F (39.4°C) to 105°F (40.5°C)
  • Body aches, which may be severe
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough that gets worse
  • Tiredness
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Some Less Common and Alarming Facts about Flu Are:

Flu is not Common Cold – Flu is short for influenza which is different from the regular cough and cold and should not be mistaken for it. When you have common cold you experience runny rose and some cough.

Flu could lead to fever, cough, headache, sore throat or runny nose. Flu can make the child feel achy, weak and tired, unlike a cold.

Flu can lead to mild or severe illness – Flu can be serious when complicated may even lead to death.

Kids are at a greater risk for Flu – Children under 5 years are more susceptible to get flu.

Most effective way to prevent flu is Annual Influenza Vaccine (1) – Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu and its complications. Consult your doctor for more information.

“Amongst Pediatric Population, influenza vaccine should be routinely offered annually to all children between 6 months and 5 years of age”

How can you improve your child’s immunity to prevent flu?

The best prevention for flu is the annual vaccination. Get your children vaccinated against flu annually and also help improve your child’s immunity with our suggestions below:

Vaccinate (2): Your child is exposed to numerous germs everyday through the food, air and water. Although the immune system can fight some of the germs but there are some diseases that they can’t handle and that is where vaccines are needed to strengthen the immune system.

Influenza vaccination (3) should ideally be given to the children 3-4 weeks before the onset of the flu season. The antibodies in the vaccine take that much time to become active.

The first time the child is vaccinated, he must also be given a second booster shot one month after and later for children aged 9 years and below. Above 9 years, only one dose of 0.5 ml is required as per the WHO recommendations.

Why the flu vaccine is your best bet against influenza?

  • There is a direct relation between flu vaccination and frequency of hospitalisation (4) due to flu. Research shows that Vaccination helps in preventing influenza related illnesses, medical visits and hospitalizations significantly.
  • The flu vaccine is updated every year based on WHO recommendations.

why vaccination is important

#1. Get Them To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

Serve the children a variety of fruits and vegetables that help in boosting immunity. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. (A serving is about two tablespoons for toddlers, 1 cup for older kids.)

Include other immunity-boosting superfoods like garlic, nuts, pulses, eggs in your children’s regular diet.

#2. Ensure The Kids Sleep Enough

There is a direct link between sleep deprivation and illness. A newborn (5) may need about 16 hours of sleep a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours.

#3. Breastfeeding In Infants

Breast milk (6) contains immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Colostrum, the thin yellow first milk that flows from the breasts during the first few days after birth, is especially rich in disease-fighting antibodies.

Breastfeeding protects babies against a host of diseases including ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Protect your children from influenza. Take the pledge here.

#4. Sunshine

Make sure your kids spend plenty of time outdoors in fresh air and sunshine for Vitamin D or the “sunshine vitamin,” aka vitamin D. The body absorbs sunlight using cholesterol to convert it to vitamin D, which is required by the immune system.

Low vitamin D levels can cause a host of diseases and time spent outdoors can help prevent these while boosting the immune system.

Other steps to avoid flu infection in children:

  • Keep them away from infected people who are showing any symptoms of flu.
  • Make them wash hands frequently, especially after play, returning from outdoors, using the toilet and before eating.
  • If they do not have a handkerchief handy, teach them to sneeze in the sleeve instead of their palm since children rarely wash hands after sneezing.
  • You should wash your hands before caring for small children – changing, feeding or playing.
  • At the child’s school, speak to the teacher about sending any kids who have flu-like symptoms back home to keep the rest of the class from falling sick.
  • Keep your home clean and well-ventilated. Wipe down any surfaces which the child touches while playing.

Even after taking all the precautions, the best way to keep your children safe from flu is to TAKE VACCINATION AGAINST FLU. Be a smart parent, for your peace of mind and for the health of your children. Speak to your child’s doctor about the Flu vaccination today!