Coronavirus, which has been in our lives for more than two years, can affect children as well as adults. On the other hand, a study conducted in England found that the new form of Omicron, BA.2, which has spread to some countries, is more contagious. Experts point out that BA.2 can be more severe in children.
Noting that it is more difficult to protect children from infection than adults, Hastep University Faculty of Pharmacy Dr. Didem Şöhretoğlu noted that keeping children’s immune systems strong is crucial.
“Good sleep is very important for the immune system”
Professor Dr. Şöhretoğlu says, “The first rule of protection from disease, like all others, is to maintain social distance, adhere to hygiene rules and use masks for children; However, it is not possible for children to maintain social distance while playing. Therefore, proper use of masks, all hygiene rules, especially hand hygiene, should be used. The importance of this should be well emphasized and the child should be taught. While teaching these, we as parents should be good role models for us. Children. In addition to these, some things can be done to strengthen our children’s immunity: First, a good night’s sleep is crucial for the immune system. “We must take care and make sure that the children are aware of this. Again, in this process, we must pay extra attention to the nutrition of the children and ensure that they get various vitamins through food.”
Seasonal vegetables and fruits must be taken
Explaining what should be considered to strengthen the immune system of children, Professor. Dr. Şöhretoğlu says: “First, children should be provided with as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible and care should be taken to eat seasonal vegetables and fruits.
In particular, one should try to take vitamins C and D and zinc, which are undoubtedly important for the immune system. Tangerines, oranges, lemons, apples, kiwis, strawberries, grapes, green peppers, parsley are all good sources of vitamin C.
Eggs and oily fish contain vitamin D. Chicken, red meat, nuts, lentils and beans are examples of foods that contain high levels of zinc.
It should be noted that some foods such as rosehip, cranberry and black alderberry, which were not eaten much before the epidemic but were medically proven to have protective effects on various infections, may be helpful to include in the diet list as fresh fruit, fruit juice, tea. Or molasses, and garlic as such. Dr. আবারhretoğlu says, “Again, adding prebiotic and probiotic foods, especially yogurt and pickled foods, to our diet is beneficial because they have a positive effect on the immune system. It is beneficial to stay away from ready-packaged foods as much as possible.”
Do not use without the advice of a physician!
Especially talking about the epidemic very popular food supplements and vitamins, Professor. Dr. Şöhretoğlu says, “The Mediterranean diet, which is ideal for health, is very common in our country, and we have a nutritional system that usually consumes lots of vegetables and fruits and a balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates. However, good nutrition alone is sufficient during this period. Therefore, it may be helpful to use medicinal herbs such as black alderberry, African geranium, echinacea or propolis preparation as advised by a doctor, as well as products containing beta glucan, vitamin C and vitamin C. To protect against high respiratory infections. D is widely sold. Available, ”he said.
Excess of vitamins is harmful
Recalling studies showing a positive relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the frequency and severity of Covid-19 infections, Şöhretoğlu continued: “It is important to take adequate vitamin D during this time. Quantities ৷ For example, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it accumulates in adipose tissue. Vitamin C, on the other hand, removes water-soluble vitamins and excess from the kidneys. It increases the absorption of iron. It can cause abdominal pain and headaches. Before giving any kind of help to children, consult a doctor and get information from a pharmacist. Or need.
Another problem with buying such support from outside is the inability to reach out to quality products. In particular, they are products that are sold on the Internet without supervision. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. In addition, since there is no control, it is not known whether these products contain harmful and toxic compounds, which is a problem that is often encountered. Again, sometimes high doses are used in these supplements, above the need. For this reason, it is the ideal way to protect the health of our children, to obtain such products from the pharmacy as the most reliable source and to learn from the pharmacist the considerations about their use. “
Playing in the park positively affects both the child’s mental health and the immune system
Professor Dr. Noting that nutrition alone is not enough for a child’s immunity, Şöhretoğlu emphasizes the importance of sleep, exercise and not skipping meals.
Şöhretoğlu says, “More attention should be paid to sleep patterns. As the weather warms up in the coming days, children’s participation in outdoor activities such as playing in the park will enable them to absorb their physical activity and vitamin D. Activities such as playing in the park and walking It will affect health and therefore it will have a positive effect on the immune system, “he said.
They must wash their hands when coming from outside
Advising children to protect themselves from diseases such as COVID-19, Şöhretoğlu said, “In fact, as adults, it is common for children to pay attention to the basics. The importance of maintaining social distance, proper use of masks and hygiene. The main thing to pay attention to is that children are crowded in confined spaces. They must wear masks. They should wash their hands when they come out. Since eating is very common among children, they should be sure to clean their hands before every snack. However, children share something with their friends, siblings, pets. Again, take care of cleanliness as much as possible in these posts. Every child should be taught that they have to show, “he said.