Give runny noses the boot!
If your child seems to be constantly falling ill from colds and bugs, it might be that their immune system is rundown and needs some TLC.
By making some small changes, you should be able to give their immune system much needed support, however a trip to your doctor for tailored advice might be beneficial too.
1. Introduce new foods
Making sure your child gets the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day might not be easy, especially if your child is a fussy eater, but it’s very important. They need to be getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals every day in order to stay healthy so you might need to think outside the box.
You could make a smiley face out of different fruits for their dessert, create your own smoothies or start giving them a daily vitamin supplement.
Some foods like eggs and yoghurts have been proven to help immune systems stay in tip-top condition so you might want to give them a try.
2. Make sure they’re getting enough sleep
If your child doesn’t have a set bedtime then now might be the time to introduce one, especially on weekdays when they’ve got to be up early for school. If you have more than one child, you need to recognise that younger children need more sleep than older children so staggered bedtimes might be needed. They need to be getting a good night’s sleep every night so their bodies have time to heal and rest.
3. Teach them the importance of washing their hands
Germs can be spread easily, so make sure your child catches any sneezes in a tissue and covers their mouth when they cough.
Washing their hands before meals is very important and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if they’re going to be eating finger food.
As a parent, you need to make sure your home is kept clean at all times. Having one big clean once a week isn’t going to be enough if you want to keep bacteria at bay. Using the same cleaning cloths and sponges for days at a time is a big no-no as they can become infested with millions of bacteria in just a few hours.
If someone in your household does become ill, you should make sure you disinfect surfaces even more than usual and that you wash their towels and bedding at a high enough temperature to kill any bugs.
4. Get active together
Your child might do PE at school but they still need to exercise at home. NHS guidelines recommend that children aged 5 – 16 should do 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day1.
You could encourage them to join a football or rugby team, take up athletics, go trampolining or sign up for dancing lessons.
Alternatively, you could do something together as a family, simply walking to your local park for a kickabout or going for a bike ride will help keep all of you fighting fit.
If your child hasn’t been very active, it’s important to not bombard them with a different activity every night as this might be too much for them to take. Start off with one or two activities a week and build up to more slowly.
Try to lead a good example, if your child sees you spending hours in front of the TV then they’ll want to do the same.
Last updated: 26 March 2021