Reinforcing Your Child’s Immune Systems and How to Prevent Catching Colds During Winter

Infants and kids
13 November 2023
Bottom line, what’s most important for you to know?
  • Sufficient sleep is very importance in maintaining children’s health. A good night’s sleep enables the body to rejuvenate and recuperate and is vital for a strong immune system.
  • Washing your hands is a simple and important action for maintaining hygiene and preventing contagion of common winter illnesses, for children and adults alike.
  • A healthy, varied diet provides the body with all the required component needed for proper immune system functioning. If you have a ‘picky’ eater at home, try to ‘hide’ healthy foods in dishes they know and love.
חיזוק המערכת החיסונית לילדים

Reinforcing our child’s immune systems is always one of our greatest worries as parents, as winter rolls around. How can we do it? We’ve gathered some tips for you to help you avoid long hours of sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms this coming winter.

Winter can sometimes feel like a never-ending period of runny noses, fever and unrelenting coughs. If you’re looking for simple ways that would help you avoid long hours of sitting in your paediatrician’s waiting room this coming winter, keep reading. We’ve gathered a few tips that would help you reinforce your child’s immune system.

Make sure the children are getting enough sleep

Sleep is well known to be an important component in keeping a healthy lifestyle, it’s essential for a healthy immune system and it enables the body to heal and rehabilitate itself. If you’re unsure how much sleep your child should be getting, here’s a short review:

There are two main organizations who determine sleep related policies, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National Sleep Foundation.

These organizations have published their recommendations in 2015, here are the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations:

  • 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
  • 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
  • 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
  • 14-17 years: 8-10 hours.

Immune deficiency in children during winter and sleep

During the winter months, when there are increased levels of bacteria and viruses in the air and longer hours of staying indoors, especially if the child is sick, their body would require more sleep, in order to fully recover. In order to allow children to have as good a night’s sleep as possible, reduce their screen time and don’t allow television, tablet or smartphone at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Squeaky clean…

Hygiene is a pre-emptive strike. Ask your children to wash their hands regularly throughout winter and all year round. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent contagion and we mostly don’t insist on this simple action as much. Ask your children to wash their hands before and after mealtimes; when they come home from school or daycare; after they use the toilet; after they’ve touched pets or played outside; after they’ve touched someone who’s sick and after they’ve sneezed or coughed. And parents, this tip isn’t just for children. Mom or dad, you should also practice the habit of washing your hands in order to reduce the amount of unwanted bacteria and viruses.

Who said reinforcing children’s immune system? That means more fruits and vegetables!

If your child’s only nutrition is chicken nuggets and frozen pizza, you’re doing nothing to help their immune systems function properly. Adding fruit, vegetables and superfoods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc to your children’s diets – this would help the body’s sturdiness and support fending off airborne viruses.

If you have a ‘picky eater’ at home, try and ‘hide’ the foods that are important for reinforcing their immune system in smoothies, baked dishes and so on. for example, leafy greens such as spinach, which are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. You can chop them and add them to omelets, to pasta sauce and even blend into a fruit smoothie.

Go out and play

It might seem counterintuitive to go out and play when it’s cold and grey outside, but studies have shown that physical activity in young children can have a beneficial influence on their immune systems. Fortunately for us, in a country like ours, there are quite a few warm, sunny winter days. Take advantage of them and have various activities such as running, ball games and bicycling. Exposure to sunlight would help your children produce Vitamin D, which is extremely important for their immune systems as well as the integrity of their bones and teeth. Fresh air is just as important.

And have a warm, healthy winter!



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