With record numbers of flu cases being reported across Australia, I’m zooming in and taking a closer look at just WHY some kids (and adults) get sick and why others don’t? Hint: it’s much more than having the antibodies or drinking green smoothies…
Before I get into this though, a quick update on when I mentioned my hubby and I were fighting off colds/flu. Our symptoms lasted a day or so. We ended up experiencing only slight congestion and a bit of a tickle in the throat. Our immunity was strong enough to keep it at bay. Our daughter (14) then showed similar symptoms with nothing eventuating. I gave our son (12) a day off school to rest and he was at school the next day. I share this not to boast, but to demonstrate how food, lifestyle and some supplements are powerful immune boosters and are a great first choice to getting well quickly.
Supporting the body, naturally and gently avoiding disruption to the microbiome or cellular health ensures we can get back into the game with enduring peak performance.
I’ll be sharing the steps I use and the ‘how to’, in my upcoming webinar, ‘Why kids get sick’. Details and how to join me here.
I’m also sharing the link to download my ebook again, ‘Why kids get sick’. It’s jam-packed full of great information and the protocols I use with our family, including recipes and remedies to help you and your team stay strong and get better quicker.
You’ve probably noticed that in your family one or two of you get sick while others don’t?
It’s not that they haven’t been exposed to the bug(s). They have.
It’s their immunity! No surprises…
It’s more than being exposed to that particular bug and developing antibodies.
A strong immune system functions well both innately (generally) and adaptively (with exposure). It is the key to providing a good defence against pathogenic organisms and maintaining vitality and well-being. And it starts with Mum….
Very briefly it’s our bodies system (a network of cells, proteins and organs) protecting us from foreign substances, toxins and infections. It is the function or the dis-function of this system that determines the strength of our immunity. And that functionality changes with time and with what our bodies are exposed to.
I worked with a families’ 2-year-old who was diagnosed by the specialist with ‘low immune function’.
A diagnosis like this made the mother assume it was a life long condition! But when we started supporting the Childs’ immune system and within only one season, it had strengthened, avoiding the hospital and doctors visits that’d become a far too familiar and regular event.
So how does ‘low immune function’ come about?
HOW the immune system develops in the early years is a key factor.
At birth a baby’s immune system (as with all its organs and systems) is immature and even more immature while being carried in the womb.
It evolves with a life of exposure to multiple foreign challenges throughout infancy, childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
The immune system isn’t fully developed until after the first few years of life.
Creating a strong immune system in our babies, children and supporting it in our elderly is vital. And it can be very simple to do.
It starts with Mum.
Without placing more responsibility on us Mums, there are 3 things that happen;
1. As a baby’s immunity is so immature, mothers have the incredible ability to transfer their immunity onto their baby (passive immunity). For example, antibodies are passed from mother to baby through the placenta. This helps give the baby some protection when they are born, lasting a few months after birth and making them less vulnerable to illness. Mother Nature’s genius at work. However, the type and amount of antibodies passed onto the baby depends on the mother’s own level of immunity at the time.
2. During birth, bacteria from the mother’s vagina are passed to the baby, helping build a colony of bacteria in the babies gut (creating their microbiome) and helping children’s immunity evolve.
3. After birth, more antibodies are passed on to the baby in colostrum and in breast milk. But babies’ immune systems remain quite immature.
Babies produce their own antibodies every time they are exposed to a virus or germ, but it takes time for this immunity to fully develop.
Our health as Mothers when we have children directly affects the health / immunity of our babies. Which is another great reason to keep mothers well nourished and strong through preconception, pregnancy and beyond.
Personally, our children were both caesareans – not ideal for building strong immunity or gut health, yet they both have strong immunities.
I believe this because;
So even if your childs’ immunity is low, it can be strengthened. But you need to start now. Don’t wait until they get sick again or show the first sniffle. It starts now, so their bodies can extinguish that bug as soon as they’re exposed to it.
The earlier you start the easier, quicker and better it is. And, importantly, avoid time off work, school and the worry of having sick kids.
1. With good food.
“Under nutrition decreases immune defences, making an individual more susceptible to infection”. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23688939
Plus this from PubMed, “Micronutrient deficiencies (i.e. vitamins and minerals) impair immune function”. The best source of these nutrients is from the food we eat – a good diet is key, especially for babies (breastfeeding mums) and toddlers.
2. But I know it’s not always easy especially with fussy eaters in the house! (FYI one of my superpowers is getting kids enjoying a wider variety of nutrient rich foods). OR perhaps they eat well but their immunity is still low. There are many good reasons this could be the case. A discussion I’ll be going into more detail in my upcoming workshop/webinar, ‘Why kids get sick’ on the 3rd of July.
3. In the meantime to strengthen your families’ immunity;
This is a simplified overview of how this complex system develops in the early years. There are many other factors that affect the strength of our immunity which I outline in my ebook. However, even if your child’s immunity is low, it can be strengthened ensuring they have the healthy, active childhood they’re entitled to and later, a vital, energetic adolescence taking them into a long, healthy and happy adulthood.
I hope you join me at my webinar ‘Why kids get sick’ for lots more information and strategies to keep your family thriving.