Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Lecturer Member Murat Cömert explained what should be done for the immune system development in children. Explaining that the immune system works on the basis of recognizing microbes, Dr. Cömert said, “When the body encounters a microbe that it does not know or recognize, it is defeated and becomes ill. If the body encounters the same microbe again, our immune system steps in and the disease is overcome before it occurs. Of course, the body’s resistance must be good to win this war. This is achieved especially with a balanced diet, good sleep and active life, ”he said.
Immunity begins in the mother’s womb
Emphasizing the importance of breast milk, Dr. Cömert said, “In fact, immunity starts in the womb. Pregnant women living in big cities are exposed to many toxic gases and heavy metals caused by air pollution. These effects indirectly affect the baby. The next step that affects immunity is childbirth. During normal birth, the baby’s immune system is stimulated as soon as it is born, thanks to the microbes that the baby receives from the vaginal flora while passing through the birth canal. Since these events do not occur in cesarean delivery, babies born with cesarean delivery begin life without this effect. Postnatal colostrum is the first vaccine of infants and it is incredibly useful to strengthen immunity. Continuing to be fed with breast milk afterwards is an indispensable condition for immunity, ”he said.
READY FOODS LOWER IMMUNITY
Stating that children fed with formula are lagging behind in terms of immunity, Dr. Cömert said, “Raising awareness for breastfeeding in societies is an inevitable measure to create social immunity. In older children, nutrition, sleep patterns and active life are the most important steps to be taken for immunity. While seasonal vegetables and fruits should be preferred as a diet, it is necessary to avoid packaged foods and fast-food style diets. Sleep pattern is another important issue in providing body resistance. Especially in children attending school, sleeping late at night and getting up early in the morning will cause sleep disturbances and decrease body resistance. With the development of technology, the risk of obesity increases as a result of sedentary life in children. For the immune system, children need to spend time in parks and gardens regardless of the season. The unnecessary use of antibiotics also damages the intestinal microbiota and reduces immunity, ”he said.
WITHOUT THE RIGHT NUTRITION, VITAMINS HAVE NO MEANING
Dr. Cömert said, “There is a misconception among parents that when vitamins are used for their children, their immunity will be strengthened. There is no point in using vitamins without paying attention to the above-mentioned situations. If vitamins are to be used, it is necessary to examine beforehand and supplement whatever the deficiency is. Otherwise, it is the best method to get all vitamins from natural vegetables and fruits, ”he said.