Want to keep your child healthy? Give them a vitamin D supplement. According to experts at the American Academy of Paediatrics, vitamin D is necessary for babies who haven’t been breastfed or who are partially breastfed, and vitamin D drops can be given to infants from four-weeks-old.
The main benefits of vitamin D include helping to develop strong bones and teeth as well as building an overall healthy immune system- capable of fighting off viral and bacterial infections.
Once your child is eating a healthy, varied diet, you can help her reach her vitamin D requirements by giving her foods such as salmon and egg, plus fortified cereals as well as a little exposure to sunlight every day.
However, if you have a fussy eater on your hands, experts suggest supplementing with vitamin D daily. Just make sure to stick to the recommended dosage.
We like: Colief Vitamin D3 Drops, R170, Dis-Chem.
For immune-boosting benefits
A good immune booster will be your best friend when it comes to helping your little one stay sniffle-free throughout the year. Echinacea is a potent herbal remedy that’s been proven to strengthen the immune system. Researchers at the Unversity of Maryland also suggest that Echinacea helps to reduce the severity of a cold if you give it to your little one as soon as symptoms arise. Also, don’t wait for your child to get sick, you can use this throughout the year, along with a good multivitamin. Suitable for kids from age two.
We like: A Vogel Echinacea Junior Children’s Chewable Tablets, R181, Clicks
To clear the air
If your child is prone to allergies to dust mites, pet dander or cigarette smoke, you might want to invest in an air-purification system for your home. These high-tech machines monitor the air quality and adjust the fan speed to keep the air purified. They also offer protection against bacteria and viruses so if you have sick guests over, or you have a toddler at school and a newborn at home, the air purifier is designed to filter out impurities from the air while increasing air flow by 50%. Although it’s initially quite pricey, it’s a long-term investment as constant allergies, especially in peak seasons such as autumn and spring, can lead to infections.
We like: The AeraMax DX 55 Air Purifier, from R4 500. Click here for more info.
Humidifiers can come in handy when you want to relieve your little one’s stuffy nose. Cool mist humidifiers are great year-round, but particularly useful when it’s cold and dry as they keep the air moist by releasing water vapour into the air. This may help your child breathe better and ease coughs, sinus pain and dry skin, too. For bad cases of congestion, doctors recommend adding a few drops of Karvol decongestant capsules to 500ml of water in your humidifier. This is safe for both babies and older children.
We like: The Elektra Cool Steam Ultrasonic Humidifer, R700, DionWired
We all know that adequate sleep is essential for the proper growth and development of our brains and bodies. And when it comes to our little ones, sleep is even more important. Too little sleep can have a negative effect on their growth and immune systems.
But the truth is, many kids are restless sleepers and wake often during the night. The good news is, researchers have found that magnesium sulphate (found in bath salts) has a calming effect on the body as it helps to deactivate adrenalin. Magnesium also helps to flush out toxins and eliminate harmful substances from the body.