Children are vulnerable to certain illnesses and infections for several reasons. Children do not have fully developed immune systems until they are about 7-8 years old. The immune system helps the body fight against diseases and infections, and because of the delay in immune maturation children have an increased risk of developing conditions, such as whooping cough, diarrhoea, ear infections, and chickenpox, croup, and food allergies, compared to adults. In particular, the mucosal immune system is vulnerable to infection and failure to mature to appropriate immunological tolerance.

Another reason children may develop illnesses is because they are frequently exposed to germs. Young children are not as aware or diligent about proper hygiene as adults. Children may wipe their noses with their hands and then play with toys shared with other children. When children are at daycare or school, they are exposed to an exceptionally wide range of germs, and it is easy to spread infections among friends or classmates. Whilst this helps provide appropriate immune maturation it can also lead to continued immunoactivation, constant illness and failure to thrive. Ensuring optimal immunonutrition is a safe and effective way to ensure the best immune capacity.

Research suggests that babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop infections (especially lung infections, ear infections, and diarrhoea) during their first year of life compared to babies who are fed formula milks. This is because the mother’s breast milk contains important antibodies, enzymes, fats, and proteins that help boost the baby’s immune system. Although baby formulas contain all of the important vitamins and nutrients a growing baby needs, manufacturers have not been able to replicate all of the components in breast milk. Formulas lack the antibodies found in breast milk, and they are more difficult for newborns to digest.

Many other factors, such as inherited disorders (such as immune system deficiencies) and the home environment, may contribute to childhood illnesses. For instance, children who are exposed to cigarette smoke in the home have an increased risk of developing infections.

Since diseases and infections are often more severe in children than adults, it is important that children be taken to their doctors or primary healthcare provider when symptoms develop and progress.

Treatment for childhood illnesses varies depending on the specific child. Since children are smaller than adults and their bodies are still developing, they do not usually receive the same treatments. They may require different doses or different types of supplements or medicines. It is important that parents and caregivers carefully read the labels of medications to make sure they are safe before giving them to their children.

For instance, aspirin is safe in adults, but it should not be given to children because it may cause serious side effects, including Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening condition that causes brain inflammation and vomiting.

When a child is sick, parents are encouraged to have the child stay at home  rather than attend school or daycare. This helps prevent the sick child from spreading his/her illness to other children. Although individual facilities each have their own rules, most require children to stay at home if they have a fever that is higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, are vomiting, or have diarrhoea. Some facilities also require children with bacterial infections, such as pinkeye or strep throat, to stay at home for the first 24 hours of antibiotic therapy. Once medicine has been started, the infections are less likely to be contagious.

Many steps can be taken to decrease the risk of childhood illnesses. For instance, children should regularly wash their hands with soap and warm water. This is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating food, and after touching objects that may contain disease-causing germs. Avoiding close contact with people who have contagious illnesses may also help reduce the risk of contacting infections. Keeping them fed with a diet rich in micronutrients for growth and health can be difficult, the use of specially designed fatty acids, multinutrients and beneficial bacteria can all be included to ensure essential food components are delivered each day.

Whilst there are significant benefits for children to have regular exposure to infectious agents and to experience different good and bad germs, care must be taken to ensure that fever and other symptoms are carefully observed to prevent any unnecessary risk of future problems.

Iron – Be careful to avoid adding extra iron to a child’s diet as iron can cause accidental poisoning.  If in doubt check with your health care provider.

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1158 Aqueous Multi-Plus™ Liq 474ml BRC
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1400 Biomega-3™ Caps 100 BRC
SP100 BodyBio Oil 4:1 Oil Liq 474ml BB
74270 Buffered Vitamin C Pwdr (Cassava Source) Pwdr 300g ARG
70000 Buffered Vitamin C Pwdr (Corn Source) Pwdr 240g ARG
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SP201 Carnosine (500 mg./cap) Caps 90 BB
3011 Cytozyme-THY™ Tabs 60 BRC
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72630 DHA Fish Oil Concentrate Soft Gel 90 ARG
03180 DHA Junior (Age 3-7) – 180 Chewable Soft Gels – Strawberry Soft Gel 180 NN
03183 DHA Junior Liquid – Strawberry Liq 120ml NN
2331 Dismuzyme Plus 5000™ Tabs 100 BRC
2223 Dismuzyme Plus™ Tabs 180 BRC
5104 Dismuzyme Plus™ Granules Granls 500g BRC
71260 EPO Evening Primrose Oil, 500mg Soft Gel 120 ARG
1428 Evening Primrose Oil Caps 100 BRC
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LM405 Liquid Chromium – No. 5 Liq 120ml BB
LM205 Liquid Chromium – No. 5 Liq 60ml BB
LM204 Liquid Copper – No. 4 Liq 60ml BB
LM404 Liquid Copper – No. 4 Liq 120ml BB
LM209 Liquid Iodine- No. 9 Liq 60ml BB
LM203 Liquid Magnesium – No. 3 Liq 60ml BB
LM403 Liquid Magnesium – No. 3 Liq 120ml BB
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70700 Liquid Molybdenum Liq 30ml ARG
LM407 Liquid Molybdenum – No. 7 Liq 120ml BB
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70240 Magnesium Citrate Caps 90 ARG
70190 Multi-Vi-Min®, Children’s Caps 150 ARG
30120 Nordic Berries™ – 120 Gummy Berries Berries 120 NN
72490 Perm A Vite® Pwdr 300g ARG
70270 Potassium Citrate Caps 120 ARG
03093 ProEFA™ Junior (Age 5-15) – Lemon (Chewable) Soft Gel 90 NN
71050 Saccharomyces boulardii (3 billion) Caps 50 ARG
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  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Accessed February 20, 2008.
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  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accessed February 20, 2008.
  5. Eigenmann PA. The spectrum of cow’s milk allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2007 May;18(3):265-71. View Abstract
  6. Ilicali OC, Keles N, Deqer K, et al. Relationship of passive cigarette smoking to otitis media. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 Jul;125(7):758-62. View Abstract
  7. Sichert-Hellert W, Wenz G, Kersting M. Vitamin intakes from supplements and fortified food in German children and adolescents: results from the DONALD study. J Nutr. 2006 May;136(5):1329-33. View Abstract
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