Children have an immune system that is still developing, so their immune system is not as strong as adults and more susceptible to illness. Therefore, parents need to know how to protect the child from disease so that he does not get sick easily and his growth is not disturbed.
Children, especially toddlers, can develop ISPA or cold cough 8–10 times a year. Not only ISPA, there are also some other diseases that are quite often experienced by children, including laryngitis and diarrhea.
If the child is often sick, not only his activities can be disrupted, but also his growth. Therefore, parents need to know how to protect the child from disease.
Some Ways to Protect Children from Disease
So that the child does not get sick easily, there are several ways that parents can protect the child from disease, namely:
1. Remind and get used to the child to wash their hands
Maintaining health can start from simple things, namely diligent hand washing. This good habit can be an effective way to protect the child from various diseases.
Washing hands regularly is able to prevent bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are on the hands from getting into the body and causing infection.
Therefore, teach and remind your little one to wash your hands properly for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water. Use soft soap that is safe for children. When you’re done, dry your hands immediately with a clean towel or tissue.
2. Complete the immunization of the child as scheduled
Efforts to protect children from diseases caused by bacteria or viruses can be done by immunization or vaccine administration.
Vaccines contain bacteria or viruses that have been turned off or weakened so as not to cause disease, but instead stimulate the body to produce an immune reaction. That way, when the child is affected by the actual germ, his body can immediately recognize and fight the germ.
3. Give children nutritious food
The provision of nutritious foods rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, can complement the nutritional needs of the child. Some examples of nutritious intake that mother can give to the little one is fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, fish, nuts, cereals, and wheat.
However, be sure to give your little one a safe meal for him. If your child has an allergy to certain foods, mother can replace the food with other foods with the same nutritional content but does not trigger an allergic reaction on the child’s body.
4. Make sure the child’s fluid needs are met
Suffice your child’s fluid intake by giving him water. Mother and Father can also give it milk, either in the form of breast milk, formula milk, or cow’s milk. In addition to increasing fluid intake, milk also contains calcium which is important for strengthening bones and teeth.
As a variety, Mother and Father can give the little one pure fruit and vegetable juice without sugar. Avoid giving your little ones sugary drinks, including sodas and packaged juices, that have a high sugar content or use artificial sweeteners.
5. Invite children to exercise regularly
Instead of letting your little one watch television or play games all day at home, invite him or her to exercise. There’s no need for strenuous exercise, really. Just walking or cycling for at least 10 minutes a day is enough to keep her body healthy.
Regular exercise can keep the child’s body fit and prevent children from obesity. In addition, some research shows that regular exercise is also able to strengthen the child’s body and reduce the risk of children getting certain diseases, such as flu.
6. Make sure the child has enough sleep
Children who are sleep deprived can experience a decrease in endurance so that they are susceptible to disease. Therefore, Mother and Father need to make sure the little one sleeps well every day. The following are recommended bedtimes for children based on their age:
- 0–3 months: 10–18 hours a day
- 4–11 months: 12–15 hours a day
- 1–2 years old: 11–14 hours a day
- 3–5 years old: 10–13 hours a day
- 6–13 years old: 9–11 hours a day
In addition to doing the above methods to protect the child from disease, parents also need to regularly check the child to the doctor to ensure his health condition is good, while monitoring his growth.
When consulting, Mother and Father can also ask the doctor about the type of food that is good to give to the little one, whether or not to give supplements, and how to stimulate the growth of the child to be optimal.