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5 tips to help keep your child healthy and support their immunity

Woman and child wearing bobble hats
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There are hundreds of different cold viruses out there, and NHS guidance suggests it’s normal for children to get 8 or more coughs and colds throughout the year. Young children have no immunity to all these different viruses but as they grow, they’ll gradually build up their natural immune defences, and get fewer colds.

A strong immune system gives your child the best chance of fighting off the viruses that cause coughs and colds. We’ve teamed up with PaediaSure Shake, a nutritional supplement for children, to provide a few tips to try to support their immunity and to help them get back up running and jumping again.

Introduce a varied diet

A varied and healthy diet is important to ensure children are getting all the energy, vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and develop properly, for example vitamin D which contributes to the normal function of the immune system in children. The best source of vitamin D is actually summer sunlight but during the winter months we don’t get enough from sunlight alone. Vitamin D can also be found in foods like oily fish - such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat and egg yolks.

But we know some parents find it a challenge to get their little ones to eat a varied diet, especially during a fussy eating phase. For peace of mind you could introduce a food supplement like PaediaSure Shake to support your child’s diet. PaediaSure Shake is a nutritious drink for children aged 1-10 years. It's enriched with protein and omega 3 plus 26 vitamins and minerals including vitamin D to support their growth and development and help keep their immune system strong.

Available in three tasty flavours (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavour), in powder and ready-to-drink formats, it’s a great addition to their diet at home and on the go. Try giving their nutrition a boost this winter.

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A good night's sleep

Good sleep is important for your child’s physical health and wellbeing. Sleep boosts the immune system, helps the body to repair itself and recover from illnesses. The amount of sleep your child needs will change as they get older. 

The NHS has guidelines on approximate hours of sleep needed by children of different ages. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine will help promote good sleep for your child; try a warm bath, dim lighting and reading a bedtime story at the same time each evening.

Good hand hygiene

Regularly washing hands is an easy way to stop bacteria and viruses spreading and to help stay healthy and protected from illness. It's good to teach children the importance of washing their hands before mealtimes, getting home and of course, after using the toilet. We have a hand-washing guide here.

Regular exercise 

Regular exercise is beneficial for everyone and for children it can have both health and social benefits.  It helps them maintain their health and weight, contributes to brain development and learning, develops muscles and bones as well as supporting children to build relationships and social skills. The government advises different lengths of time for exercise each day per a child’s age group and there are many different physical activities you and your child can engage in from walking, cycling, scooting, climbing, skipping and more.

Get back on track

When children go back to school or colder weather arrives, the inevitable sneezes and snuffles will arrive too. You can’t expect your child to avoid colds altogether. But, you can help keep them strong and healthy by ensuring they have the nutrients they need to fight those nasty bugs and bounce back to health.

When your child is feeling under the weather, the NHS advises the most important thing to do is to listen to them. Keep them hydrated but if for the first day but if they don’t feel like eating, don’t worry.  After the first day, start trying to tempt them with food or a nutritious drink like milk.

You could also introduce PaediaSure Shake which is enriched with vitamin D which contributes to the normal function of children’s immune systems as well as containing protein and calcium to support the development and growth of their bones. PaediaSure Shake is here to provide the essential nutrients you little one needs to help get their health back on track.

What this video to learn more about how PaediaSure Shake can support your child's immunity

 

 

References

*Contains vitamin D which supports normal function of the immune system in children. Contains essential fatty acids which are needed for normal growth and development of children. This beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 10g linoleic acid and 2g alpha-linolenic acid.

PaediaSure Shake is a food supplement. It may be used while working towards a healthy balanced diet. PaediaSure Shake is part of the PaediaSure brand. IQVIA wholesaler unit sales into UK community pharmacies, year to October 2020, Infant & Paediatric Oral Nutritional Supplement Drinks only. To verify email paediasureshake@abbott.com. Date of preparation January 2021.  UK-PDSHK-2100009

www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/health/colds-coughs-and-ear-infections-in-children
www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/weaning-and-feeding/vitamins-for-children
www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/healthy-sleep-tips-for-children
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/sleep-better
www.gov.uk/government/publications/physical-activity-guidelines-infographics
www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/health/looking-after-a-sick-child