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Five tips to boost your child’s immune system against COVID-19

Here are the latest return-to-school rules in Australia Source: AAP

Now that kids are back to school, it is important for children to live a healthy lifestyle to keep their immune system primed and ready to fight off COVID or any other viruses.

Dr Angelica Logarta Scott says that while it is normal for parents to feel worried about their child’s safety, if correct measures are done to mitigate the risk, then COVID rates will hopefully slow down.


Highlights 

  • Some parents are worried for their children's safety against COVID-19
  • It is important for children to live a healthy lifestyle to keep their immune system primed and ready to fight off COVID or any other viruses.
  • Parents should make sure that their children's vaccination are up to date

 

Tips to boost your child’s immune system

Eat a well-balanced diet consist of fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy carbohydrates

Ms Scott recommends food that are high in vitamin C, D and zinc.

“If kids are eating healthy food, then supplement is not necessary. But for picky eaters, supplement may help.”

She adds that foods such as meat, poultry, beans, nuts are great sources if vitamins. While a colourful plate of fruits and vegetables will also provide many nutrients to your child’s body.

She also recommends probiotics for the gut health of your child and to cut down refined sugar and junk food.

“Unhealthy diet can cause chronic inflammation which can affect the immune system of kids.”

Ensure kids are getting a good amount of sleep

Dr Scott says a good amount of sleep is helpful to have a healthy circadian rhythm which boosts the immune system. 

 “The body needs sleep in order to fight infection and regenerate as well. During sleep it is where autophagy happens. It’s a natural process where our body clears out the damaged cells and produce new ones.”

Make sure kids are up to date with vaccination including their yearly flu vaccine

Dr Scott recommends vaccinating the whole household.

"We know that the rates of infection with children is higher in those less vaccinated areas. Vaccination is important.

She adds studies show that children are still at lower risk of contracting severe disease compared to other age group as the immune system of kids are active and quick in response.

Go for exercise or outdoor activities

Dr Scott says it is recommended that children should have at least 1 hour of moderate exercise.

“Exercise is important because it helps strengthen bones, muscles, help with coordination, function of the heart and lungs, and boosts the immune system. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight."

Remind your children to maintain hand hygiene and social distancing

“It’s always a good idea to maintain hand hygiene and social distancing. For those who are 12 to 16 years old, it's good to have their vaccination done so they are protected against the virus,” Dr Scott says.

 

Healthy Pinoy is SBS Filipino's weekly segment on health. The content provided is for informational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 

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