An Immune India

A school’s attendance register is the best indication of how healthy the kids of the school are. Many such school attendance records all over the country gives a good picture of how healthy the children of our country are! Often it is observed during change of season, say summer to monsoons, the attendance in classes go down to almost 50%. Common cold spreads like wild fire, and active fun loving children get laid down with fever, nose, throat or ear infections. Statistics have shown that primary classes have more absentee record than higher secondary classes. A child enters day care and begins to fall sick more frequently.

Why are kids more prone to illnesses?

The answer most often lies on their low immune capacity. Immune capacity is body’s capacity to fight infection. Immune system attacks foreign organisms, stronger the system is stronger will be the body’s resistance to diseases. The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. When antigens are detected, these cells work together to recognize and respond accordingly. This immune system is built over a period of time with constant effort.

What can be done to improve this immune system?

This is something that cannot be developed overnight instead it starts even before the child is born.

1. In mother’s womb, during the last 3 months of pregnancy, a kid in its unborn state receives its first set of antibodies! The child arrives in the world with this passive immunity. This proves the first factor that contributes to child’s immune system is its mother! A healthy mother who has developed good immunity will pass the antibodies to her unborn child through the placenta. During normal delivery, as the child passes through vaginal tract it picks up good bacteria.

2. Once the child is born, it is exposed to big bad world of germs and infections along with love and affection from its near and dear ones. The immune system of this newborn can strengthen if it is breast fed. The first milk, colostrum, is rich in antibodies. Breast feed the child for as long as possible. With this second factor the child is more prepared to face the world.

3. However with passing time, newborn immunity reduces. The need for third factor now sets in, the child has to be inoculated. A series of immunisations follow which protects the baby from some of the fatal diseases for a whole life time. Some of the immunisations are done in regular intervals in the growing years. There ends the doctor’s role!

You as a parent, now, have to take over the role to strengthen your child’s immune system.

The focus has to be on the digestive tract of the child, what best can you supply through it to maintain the strong immune system. Any negligence and the immunity reduce rapidly. A balanced diet is the solution as it provides the body with all necessary nutrients to protect it. Keep a watch: is your child the first to fall sick and last to recover? If yes, then it is high time some remedial steps are taken. Minismise the child’s sugar and refined food intake. Vitamin C, D, minerals like Zinc are vital.

As the child grows, the body meets more foreign microbes. The body develops more antibodies to fight them off. To achieve this body has to be supplemented with crucial vitamins and minerals. Now, it is not possible to pick each one and stuff it down the throat of a playful or uncooperative child. Often tonics are prescribed for such children. Another option is to go the herbal way. Ayurveda prescribes several kinds of herbs for the overall growth of the child, improving the immunity and having no side effects at all.

So right from day one the effort has to be there. Along with this provide a healthy, pollution free, clean environment and the child is bound to progress well in life!

This post is written as a contest entry to “An Immune India” by Indiblogger (I would like to state that I am no doctor. The facts and figures in this post have been given after referring to several sites.) 

Merry Christmas
Pink Water Lily

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