Immune system needs to be strengthened in childhood. Immune system strengthened during childhood is important in terms of maintaining healthy life in adulthood. Eating properly and growing up in a healthy environment help the immune system to develop. Excessive hygiene doesn’t mean a healthy environment. It should not be forgotten that bacteria and microbes in the environment will also be needed for the children’s immune system to develop healthily.
The Importance of Immune System for the Child
It is the immune system that activates the defence mechanism of the body. It’s immune system’s responsibility to prevent microorganisms found in external factors via nose, mouth or skin to enter the body. At the same time, it prevents microorganisms have managed to get into the body from causing a disease or from spreading to the other organs. The immune system has a complex structure that works together with many systems, such as lymph glands, spleen, macrophages, white blood cells, and so on. The development of the immune system, which starts in the mother’s womb, is weak in the first few months and the system begins to protect the body by accessing the gene by improving the memory function with the infections that have been passed over time. Mother’s nutrition and the infections she had during pregnancy form the immune system. Child’s nutrition after birth, physical condition, infectious diseases during childhood, vaccinations and medicines are among the factors that affect immune system. Even twins living together in the mother’s womb and in the same environment after delivery show differences in the immune system. Immune systems of overprotecting families’ children cannot be developed as it should. Children who are over hygienic are at greater risk of having more frequent and severe infections. Having upper respiratory infections 7-10 times in a year is normal for children. Thus, their immune system gets stronger.
Sterile Environment Does Not Strengthen the Immune System
According to the recent studies, immune system diseases such as allergic asthma and infections are beginning to be seen more and more in socioeconomically developing countries and that is explained as hygiene hypothesis. According to the hygiene hypothesis when the environmental sterility increases the immune system starts working towards itself and cause damages. The more connection child has with the environment, plays games with his/her peers or with dirt etc. the more the immune system develops and gets stronger. When children start going to kindergarten nursing, they are more exposed to infections. Instead of keeping their children away from kindergarten because of this reason parents should let them go there instead. The best way of supporting child’s immune system is to breastfeed them.