Kids, for the most part, are resilient. They bump and bruise themselves and jump back right into play. Even kids’ immune systems are resilient, often coming into contact with the germiest of little hands and runny noses, catching colds and flu many times throughout the season, so do their immune systems still need a boost?
At school or daycare, young children tend to spread germs more quickly, perhaps out of the watchful eye of parents; young children forget how to cough or sneeze while covering their mouths. Children are confined to tight spaces in school, creating a breeding ground for sharing germs! In addition, the upper airways of young children are not fully developed yet, which can increase their risk of more frequent bacterial and viral infractions.
A parent may wonder why their child catches frequent colds; one may think they should have built a natural resistance to them after a few weeks! Did you know there is no cure for the common cold? Because the common cold virus tends to continue to mutate continually. To date, there are over 200 different cold viruses, and they continue to change all the time.
Exposure to viral illnesses at a young age is not bad; it is necessary to help set the stage for a child’s immune system development as they continue along the age spectrum. Given this information, do kids’ immune systems still need a boost?
Building Little Immune superheroes requires more effort than it did years ago. As much as parents try daily, life does not always lend itself to eating healthy meals three times a day, which would include organic fruits and vegetables, omega-3 from fish, and free-range sources of meat and dairy. Often unrealistic due to the rising costs of wholesome food and the time commitment required to prepare such food with both parents working. Parents do what they can with what they have. However, circumstances often leave children lacking in the critical nutrients required to keep their developing immune systems robust.
Other factors that negatively affect a child’s developing immune system and their response to fighting colds and flu are young children's new stress levels. Children have more anxiety and nervousness, which can lead to poor sleep. During sleep, the body naturally rejuvenates itself, including the immune system! Today’s children also suffer from poor gut health and malabsorption problems, affecting their intake of vitamins and minerals from their food and their immune system, which starts in the gut!
Parents may wonder if multivitamins or supplements can help prevent illness. A balanced diet is the best way to get your child the necessary nutrients. But when this is not always possible, supplementing their daily needs with a multivitamin can help give them a boost and fill in any potential gas in nutrition. Examine your child’s diet; if they are picky eaters and meal preparation is more complicated, consider a multivitamin.
Probiotics are another supplement parents may want to consider to help support the healthy growth of a child’s immune system. Our immune response starts in the gut from birth to adulthood, and a healthy gut is necessary for a healthy immune system. Young children may be more prone to periods of constipation and diarrhea. They may also be on more antibiotics for early ear infections. A probiotic is a good option for temporary use to help replenish good gut bacteria after antibiotic use or as a boost to rebalance the gut microbiome if they struggle with bowel problems.
Recommended Kids Superhero Supplements
Omega 3 is an essential nutrient, which means it cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through the diet (fatty fish ). Not many children are asking for “ocean wild-caught fish” for dinner, and most pre-frozen fish sticks (a personal favourite of mine) do not provide enough Omega 3 to reach the required daily recommendations. Omega 3 supplements are an excellent suggestion for the whole family but are also becoming a mainstream recommendation to help support your superhero’s growing brain. Omega 3 is required for brain cell building blocks and is part of the healthy immune system development process.
Superheroes Get Sick Supplements
There will be times, most likely lots of times, when, regardless of our best efforts, children will get sick. Keeping in mind catching a cold or flu is not a bad thing and can help build a resilient immune system in children. If your child can’t seem to shake the cold or needs a boost from time to time, there are a few supplements you may want to have on hand.
Li'l Kids Zinc Spray with Vitamin C- can help boost kids prone to colds and flu and may also help reduce incidence and frequency.
Kids Elderberry Cough Relief Syrup is emerging as a supplement for children at the first signs of a cold or flu or as a boost to help a child manage and overcome the symptoms.