What can I do to give my child immunity from some of the health problems of childhood?

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

Even before your son or daughter is born, accept the fact that there are a certain number of illnesses and accidents that are a normal component of raising a child to adulthood. There is no way to raise a healthy, active, and psychologically stable youngster without at some time having them in danger from falls, cuts, or viruses. It goes with the territory.

What you can do is put the best fuel possible into your children and make sure that they have a body that will heal quickly no matter what unhealthy incident befalls them. If your child breaks an arm falling off the monkey bars at the school playground, you want the bones to heal well and be strong. If a bad scrape on your first grader’s knee becomes infected, you want the immune system to be ready to shift into high gear and fight the bacteria. If an ear infection sends your toddler’s fever soaring, you want her to have the strength to fight the disease.

If your child’s blood stream is loaded with sugar, the white blood cells will be slowed down in their race to the site of the infection. The cookies and candies that are everywhere during the holidays can ruin a ski vacation by weakening the immune system. At Christmas, I get calls from all over the country from parents whose children have fallen ill on vacation. They’ve eaten a lot of sweets and rich foods, and their bodies are in the overload mode. The youngsters are stressed because of the new environment away from home, and they get hit with a virus. On the wrong diet, they don’t have the strength to defend themselves against it.

So boost your child’s immune system by bringing apples on the plane instead of candy. Offer water instead of soda. Serve pasta instead of pot roast. Have your youngsters eat better, and their immune systems will work better. They’ll get sick less often and recover more quickly. You won’t think these are extreme nutritional measures if you’ve ever been on vacation with a toddler who has stomach flu! We know this works for us adults. Let’s do it for our children.