Sometimes Term 2 feels as if it’s a struggle from one bug to the next. To help avoid spending the winter holidays continuing that battle, now is the perfect time to support your family’s immunity so you can enjoy some downtime together.
This winter there is talk that with the borders open once again, there will be even more bugs circulating in the community, possibly putting our immune system to the test. Join us as we look at six ways we can support our immunity for this onslaught.
What is the role of the immune system?
Our immune system has three jobs: To defend the body from ‘attack’ from foreign invaders; to help fight off anything that gets into the body; and finally, the immune system can cleverly ‘remember’ many of the microbes so that next time some try to attack, it can quickly respond.
What makes up the immune system?
The immune system is not one easily identifiable part – instead, it is made up of a network of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins located all over your body. These include skin, bone marrow, the lymphatic system, spleen, adenoids, thymus, appendix, tonsils, and even mucous membranes in the lining of the mouth.
How can we support the immune system?
Because the immune system is made up of so many parts and complex processes, it makes sense that supporting it isn’t straightforward. However, there are some key things we can do to help our immune system.
Our skin and mucous membranes are an important part of our immune system so we need to help them out. Regular hand washing and sanitizing are important, especially before handling food and after using the bathroom. Wash and cover any cuts or scrapes. Protect others by sneezing or coughing into your elbow.
Take a probiotic
The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505™ has been shown to support immune defences in children along with digestive and respiratory system health.1
Clinicians Kids Immune Care is a delicious, sugar-free, natural banana drink your kids will love and contains this special probiotic that is scientifically proven to support their immune system. Suitable for children 2 years and older, it’s the perfect option to support the immune system of kids in early childhood care or school. It can be used at first signs of illness or as a daily maintenance product to support against winter ills and chills.
Vaccinations work by exposing your child to the harmful microbe in a safe way so that their immune system can do its clever work and create some antibodies that are ready and waiting for a large potential future attack from that microbe.
A good diet
This one is easier for some parents to implement than others! Any increase in fresh fruit and veges is good, while a diet high in leafy greens (bok choy, spinach and kale), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado) healthy sources of protein (eggs, beans, white meat) and fruit high in vitamin c and antioxidants (berries, oranges, red capsicum) is ideal.
A warm, dry home
During winter we spend a lot of time indoors so how well that environment is supporting your immune system is important. A damp, cold house makes your respiratory immune system work harder because it doesn’t like all the moisture, plus the air is more likely to be loaded with bacteria and mould microbes. Damp, bacteria-laden air can also increase the occurrence of problematic eczema and other skin problems.
Plenty of sleep
Not having enough good quality sleep can make you more susceptible to illness.2 Aside from ensuring everyone isn’t grumpy, that’s why a good night’s sleep is so important! Good sleep practices include staying off screens for half an hour or more before bedtime, having a relaxing and consistent bedtime routine, and ensuring everyone is warm and comfortable.
The new Clinicians Kids range is available in-store and online exclusively at Pharmacies and Health Stores including:
Dietary supplements are not a replacement for a balanced diet. Always read the label. Use as directed. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Auckland.
This article was written by Kidspot with information supplied by Clinicians.
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass.”