If your little one is starting school soon, you must be worried about her being exposed to so many germs and possibly getting sick more often. Here are a few steps you can take to give your child's health a boost!
My four year old daughter has been sent to the emergency room more times than she’s celebrated her birthday, starting when she was merely a few weeks old.
Due to her medical condition, 90% of the time just catching a simple cold or the flu is enough to get her rushed to hospital for treatment and observation.
She’ll be starting kindergarten in a few months’ time after being home-schooled by me for the past few years, and ever since we found out about her health problems, we’ve been preparing her for this day with the hopes of decreasing any chances of her falling sick.
If you’re a parent with a kid in childcare or preschool, you might find that he or she has a tendency to get sick quite often — this is because such small spaces with lots of young children are a hot spot for germs and viruses which can easily spread to everyone there.
So how can you prevent your little one from picking up a nasty bug and what should you do to help strengthen her immune system?
How to boost your child’s health
Here are all the steps my husband and I have been taking to ensure that our daughter stays in the pink of health:
Practice good personal hygiene
As self-proclaimed germaphobes, we do our best to keep our home spotlessly clean and make it a habit to wash our hands regularly, because according to the Health Promotion Board this helps to kill 99% of germs!
We also remind our little one to avoid touching her eyes, nose and mouth, because if she has touched a common surface (such as door handles, escalator handrails, crosswalk buttons, etc) she might pick up some germs and transfer them directly onto her face, which can cause her to get sick.
Breastfeed for as long as you can
For those who can, try to breastfeed your little one up to two years of age (or for longer like I did, if you wish!) as research shows that there are many benefits to breastmilk which can help protect your child from illnesses and infections such as:
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
- Pneumonia (caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae)
- Urinary tract infections
- E. coli infections
Get plenty of exercise and outdoor play
We encourage our child to engage in physical activities like dancing, cycling, swimming and simply by running around the playground, because exercise and outdoor play is beneficial to her health.
Mr Micheal Lim, Head and Senior Clinical Exercise Physiologist of the Sports Medicine Programme at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) says, “Beyond physical benefits, exercise positively influences the mental, emotional and cognitive development of children.”
Avoid crowded places and sick people
We try our best to stay away from large crowds such as shopping malls and prefer to go to open-air spaces like the park or the beach instead, and we also steer clear of anyone who has a case of the sniffles — so as to avoid getting infected by any viruses by people who are not socially responsible.
If we find out that our child’s friends are under the weather, we won’t hesitate to cancel playdates either — and although this may seem extreme to some people, we’d rather be safe than sorry!
In Singapore, it is compulsory for all children to be vaccinated against certain diseases including: BCG, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B.
Our daughter has also gotten the flu vaccine, which is recommended by doctors for children who are below five years old, or have a medical condition, or will be travelling overseas.
Get enough sleep
If your child does not get enough sleep, this can negatively affect her immune system and make her more susceptible to falling sick once exposed to any viruses.
So how much sleep do your kids need? Toddlers require about 12 to 13 hours of sleep, preschoolers need 11 to 12 hours, and Primary school kids should sleep for about 10 to 11 hours.
Eat a well balanced diet
Research shows that what you eat definitely affects your health, so it’s important that our little one gets all the right nutrients she needs in her daily diet to help boost her immunity.
To ensure that my daughter is consuming enough important nutrients, we have also added BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken For Children to her diet, as it contains Lycium (wolfberries) to improve her eyesight; and Vitamin B Complex that can help support her immune system while also enhancing her mental and physical development.
Go to the next page for some simple ways you can use Brand’s Essence of Chicken in your home-cooked meals to boost your child’s health!