Every winter, moms and dads across the country stock their cabinets with all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and medicines to protect their little ones from the dreaded cold and flu. But it’s not only the colder months that creep in and cause infection. Truth is that your child is prone to sick days even during the other seasons. Don’t be alarmed, mom. It’s completely normal and why we’re here to help you support your little one’s immunity all year long.
Why does it feel like my child is sick every second week?
Toddlers and preschoolers can experience as many as 12 colds and between 7 and 8 infections a year. It’s also quite typical for kids to have symptoms lasting up to 14 days, and in some cases, a cough that lasts up to 6 weeks. Although it seems like a lot, it’s actually pretty normal for a growing immune system.
When does typical turn into serious?
While a common cold or infection is normal, there are telltale signs that could indicate that something out of the ordinary might be going on. Some red flags to watch out for are hospital visits after every illness, a frequent need for IV antibiotics to recover, or infections in less common body locations like the liver or spleen.
Other red flags:
- Eight or more ear infections in the same year.
- Two or more serious sinus infections a year.
- Two or more months on antibiotics with little improvement.
- Two or more pneumonia infections a year.
- Recurrent deep skin or organ abscesses.
- Persistent thrush in the mouth or elsewhere after 1 year and older.
- A family history of primary immunodeficiency.
Is school the cause of all the sick days?
Kids in preschool and primary school typically have a higher frequency of illness because they are always, and we mean always, in close contact with their friends and objects. If your little one started school a few months ago and has been sick several times, don’t be alarmed. This isn’t a sign of a weakened immune system. It is, however, important to ensure you still support their immune system with a nutritional supplement like PediaSure – pre and post illness.
Are colds more frequent in colder weather?
Fun fact mom: the temperature outside itself doesn’t influence how many times your little one gets sick. It’s when your kid moves indoors and comes into close contact with others that causes viruses to spread more easily. So, while cold and flu isn’t influenced by the weather, there are some respiratory viruses that tend to circulate on a seasonal basis.
What about wet hair?
Can it cause coughs and sniffles? Good news mom, there’s absolutely no link between wet hair and cold and flu. Majority of these illnesses are caused by respiratory viruses. So, it’s OK to go for the wet look, but only for a while.
Can my child’s diet have an impact on their immunity?
Generally, children suffering from severe malnutrition are more at risk of compromised immune systems. A child with access to food and a varied diet, is less likely to experience the same immunodeficiencies. Studies have also demonstrated that lower vitamin D levels might be linked to more frequent respiratory infections. That’s why PediaSure is scientifically developed to include essential vitamins and minerals they need to help support their little one’s immunity.
Is my child’s immune system not as strong as it used to be due to spending more time at home during COVID-19?
After being cooped at home for so long, it might feel like your little one is more susceptible to cold and flu. Truth is, they’re not. A child’s immune system is constantly being generated and maintained by their body. Being inside and out of reach of infection won’t inherently cause any weakening of the immune system. It is important to note that their protection against certain illnesses can drop over time if they don’t get the infection or their vaccinations. If your child doesn’t catch the flu the one year, their immune system will be weakened against the flu the next year.
Does hygiene impact my child’s immunity?
A question on every mom’s mind. A child’s immune system is uniquely designed to identify and respond to new infections and everything it’s exposed to. That’s one of the genius ways the immune system is trained. The more your little one is exposed to early on, the better their immune system will be trained to recognise what’s dangerous and what isn’t. Now, we know you can’t always be around to see what your child puts in his or her mouth but living in a sterilised bubble doesn’t do their immune systems any good either.
Are some viral infections better to get young?
It’s true that some infections are worse in your early years. Infections like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is especially bad for kids under 12 months. A whooping cough (pertussis) is another illness that can lead to hospitalisation in babies and young kids. On the positive note, viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus — viruses that cause mono — may not even cause symptoms in young kids. But if you get them as a teenager or adult, they can leave you bedridden.
Should I give my child less antibiotics and would it impact the immune system?
Most of the common infections such as colds, coughs, runny noses, and sore throats in kids are caused by viruses. And as any good Paediatrician and GP should know, antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Taking antibiotics to treat a viral infection won’t help your child recover faster and can even do more harm than good. Antibiotics are most effective against bacteria, but even some bacterial infections will get better without ever needing any antibiotics. Take an ear infection as an example: 90 to 95% of ear infections will recover on their own because the immune system is trained to fight off the infection. In some cases, antibiotics can also have side effects, such as yeast infections, diarrhea, or rashes. Generally, it’s good to limit the use of antibiotics to situations where the benefits of antibiotics outweigh the risks.
My child might not have a weak immune system, but what can I do to boost it anyway?
If you’re worried about the frequency of your child’s illnesses, the most important thing to do is to talk to your health care provider. Your Paediatrician or GP can help differentiate between something that as ‘normal’ and something that requires further evaluation. As a mom or dad, it’s also just as important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to help prevent infection. One of the best ways to do that is to keep your little one’s vaccinations up to date. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), for example, protects kids against 13 different types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. These bacteria are the most common cause of ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia and meningitis in children. The flu vaccine is another great way to protect your kid against the sick days.
Can PediaSure help support my child’s immune system?
Yes. PediaSure is the number 1 Paediatrician prescribed child nutritional supplement, clinically proven to support growth and development, as well as a source of essentials vitamins and minerals that support your child’s immune system. What’s more, with a kid-approved taste available in vanilla and chocolate, it also serves as a great nutritional snack that will help your little one grow - every day, 365 days a year.
*Source: https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/parenting/the-constant-cold-why-kids-are-always-sick-and-what- to-do-about-it/