Parents have every reason to be concerned when their children are diagnosed with weak immune system conditions. Immunodeficiencies are not rare in babies. The problem is when they return in the toddler years. In some cases, the causes are genetic while in others they may be environmental. Autoimmune conditions or hypersensitivity to external factors can be managed with the following considerations:
Reduce Childhood Stress
Children diagnosed with autoimmune deficiencies are bound to live with lifelong conditions such as psoriasis. These are situations known to be exacerbated by stress. It is important that you learn to recognize your children’s emotional responses to anxieties and fears. Whenever you see your child’s skin breakout in flaky patches, think about potential stressors. Think about your child’s sleep patterns and levels of activity.
Adequately Maintain Indoor Temperature
According to a 2010 Harvard Health Letter, cold temperatures are known to suppress the immune system. To this effect, it is crucial to maintain your home’s temperature warm enough to protect your child during the winter. A home furnace replacement could go a long way in this regard. If your furnace struggles even after replacing thermostat, filters and power supply, it may be time to upgrade the system.
Reduce Exposure to Allergens
Your child’s histamine system works parallel to the immune system. Allergies are essentially immune reactions to organic or inert substances that cause irritation and edema. The problem with allergic reactions is that they make the immune system work at a higher capacity. Children with an immunodeficiency are left weakened by allergies, thereby exposing them to bacterial or viral infections. You can reduce household allergens with air purifiers, HEPA air filters, and by getting rid of carpeting. Moreover, you should eliminate excessive moisture in the basement and kitchen. Another factor to watch in this regard is diet; particularly if your child does not feel well after eating certain meals.
Do Not Sterilize Your Home Too Much
Pediatricians and immunologists routinely warn against the dangers of overusing antibacterial household products. The problem with being zealous about eliminating bacteria is that it could do away with beneficial microorganisms. Immune systems require some level of exposure to bacteria and toxins as they develop. Living in overly sterile environments could cause your children to suffer from “20th century syndrome,” also known as multiple chemical sensitivity.
In the end, you should keep in mind that your child’s immune system may not be weak forever. Follow the recommendations of immunologists with regard to nutrition, exercise and medication regimes that can strengthen you child’s defenses.