Diet and Nutrition

What Is Low or Weak Immunity in a Child?

What Is Low or Weak Immunity in a Child?

What does the term “low immunity” mean?

When you notice that your child catches a cold or the flu more often than other family members, or when it takes a long time for any wounds to heal, you begin to think that there is something wrong with your child's resistance.

Low immunity is a term that refers to the characteristics of particular dysfunctions in your baby's body, and can be inborn or acquired.

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When the body of your child, for some reason, does not produce enough white cells, leukocytes and lymphocytes, to ward off infections, then it may be said that your child has an immune deficiency.

The severest type of immune deficiency is HIV. Treatment with immune stimulators and blood products to supply needed cells can slow down the speed of an immune deficiency's progress in the body of your child, but HIV isn't completely curable yet.

Also, low immunity is responsible for the generation of cancer cells in the body, due to the fact that specific macrophages (white blood cells that destroy agents that are foreign to our body's cells, such as a cancerous growth) do not work efficiently. Thus, immune-deficient conditions are the trigger of miscellaneous malignant tumors.

What are the reasons for the decline of the immune system in children?

The immune system of your child forms under the influence of a particular factor, namely hormone production, which stimulates the generation of stem cells and their effective proliferation in the bone marrow.

o    All infectious diseases a woman undergoes during pregnancy especially in its early stages are very often fraught with further complications in the form of blood diseases, for example, CMV cytomegalovirus and parvovirus, which may lead to the development of severe forms of anemia in the baby, if the baby was infected while the baby was still in the womb.

o    It's a well-known fact that smoking during pregnancy is one of the major factors in the stunted development of the immune system of the baby.

o    Exposure to hazardous substances, such as x-ray emissions and harmful chemicals, is harmful to the growing body of the baby and pregnant women as well.

o    Imbalanced diets and those low in vitamins and minerals are often the reason behind your baby's weakened immunity. Refusal to breastfeed is an unfortunate decision many mothers make nowadays, and is often regretted by them as the baby frequently falls ill with all kind of infections afterward.

o    A carefree attitude in many modern parents toward their children's daily routine may lead to the deterioration of their children's general body resistance. All kids have to have enough time for sleep as well as physical activities; parents have to teach their little ones from early childhood about a healthy lifestyle and good health habits, hopefully by their personal example.

What kind of specialists deal with low immunity problems in children?

If your baby has a low or weakened immune system, you should seek the advice of your child's pediatrician or your family doctor regarding the issue. When your baby is assessed by a qualified doctor and the case seems to him a bit complicated, he might refer you to an immunologist.

The keys to a robust immune system in children

When the immune system is functioning properly, it can fight organisms like viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi. All children are exposed to pathogens, but it does not mean that all will fall sick. A strong immune system is a natural defense against diseases.

It is impossible to keep children in a germ-free environment. The truth is that exposure to some bacteria and viruses can strengthen the immune system of the child. Furthermore, vaccination against diseases like measles, chicken pox, and mumps can provide protection and make the child's immune system even stronger.

Here is how you can build immune system of your children:

•    Nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies are responsible for many chronic immune disorders. Important nutrients responsible for a strong immune system are Vitamins A, C, and E, and the minerals iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium. These nutrients can be obtained only with a wholesome and balanced diet. Processed foods, meanwhile, can weaken the immune system.

The wrong type of fat can worsen infections and inflammatory conditions, whereas essential fatty acids are required for an immune system to function as normal. Sugar reduces the white blood cell count. To deal with recurrent infections, one can use probiotic supplements. They provide good bacteria to fight the bad ones. Herbs can also be quite powerful and have remarkable effect on the immune system. 

•    Preventing illness

Do not expose children to a continuous cycle of antibiotics or any other type of medication. Excessive antibiotics can decrease resistance and immunity. Unnecessarily injections with dozens of vaccines before the age of 5 years, where the immune system is still being built, can also lead to chronic dysfunction.

•    Breastfeeding

Another method of prevention includes breastfeeding, with a healthy nutritious diet for the breastfeeding mother. Breastfeeding provides elements that are crucial for the protection of babies against diseases. Breastfed babies are less prone to diseases than bottlefed babies.

•    Emotional well-being and healthy mental attitude

 The best nutrition for any child is love and care, which give them a sense of security, help build a positive outlook, and keep them guarded against stress.

•    Nontoxic environment

Poor air quality, contaminated food or water, and exposure to chemicals such as pesticides can decrease immunity. Avoid your child's unnecessary exposure to and intake of these. Nontoxic alternatives and organic food will help in creating a healthy environment and diet for your child.

•    Plenty of rest and exercise

The nervous system is responsible for the immune response. A sudden misalignment of bones or tightened ligaments and muscles can alter the nerves' ability to send the brain's messages to cells, tissue, and muscles. The nervous system and immune system are closely-related. Plenty of exercise and fresh air can make a huge difference in the health of children. Climbing, jumping, running, and dancing can be of great help great in stimulating the immune systems of children.

Some Final Words

A parent can do many things to ensure that their child's immune system is provided the best possible support for these to develop and protect the child against diseases. These proactive measures taken by a parent redound to the benefit of not only the child, but also his or her parents, who will enjoy more care- and trouble-free time with their child, thanks to his or her robust immune system.