It is normal for your child to fall ill. Yet, if he is showing a pattern of recurrent infection, then you may worry whether your child has a weak immune system. The immune system serves as the body defence mechanism. It defends the body against bacteria, viruses and other harmful infections. A weakened immune system means your child is vulnerable to infection-causing germs. This article will help you to be aware of the signs of a weak immune system in your child.
According to research findings, children averagely get sick five to nine times a year. The number may increase for children who have allergies or specific food sensitivities. It is noteworthy that in children with ‘healthy’ immune system, their development and growth is unaltered by these yearly sicknesses. Exposure to infections is known to build or strengthen their immune system. Healthy kids make a complete recovery and respond to treatment whenever they get sick.
In children with the weak immune system, the risk of infection is not only extremely high but very severe. This severity and heightened risk emanate from the inability of their immune system to efficiently respond to illnesses
Signs of a weak immune system in children
Some symptoms of a weak immune system in children include:
Poor weight gain
A child with a weakened immune system usually has a low weight gain in comparison to his peers. He may look shorter or smaller than his age mates. If he is a teen, then his body might be slow to show normal changes that accompany puberty. This delayed growth is often attributed to infections like chronic diarrhoea which can occur in the child and prevent his body digestion of adequate nutrients from gaining weight.
Serious skin infections
Skin infections like Molluscum contagiosum, staph and cellulitis can occur in children with a weakened immune system. Though some of these skin infections are quite harmless, when they occur in kids with lowered immunity, they can cause severe complications and might require hospitalization.
Swollen lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are part of the immune system. They respond to germ invasion in the body by becoming enlarged. Children with weakened immune system frequently have swollen lymph nodes, which may be accompanied by fever. Their swollen lymph nodes can continue to grow in size and take a long time to disappear.
One of the common symptoms of a weak immune system in children is chronic diarrhoea. This type of diarrhoea last for weeks and can cause harm to their bowel, trigger dehydration and prevent their body from properly absorbing nutrients.
Thrush is caused by the fungi Candida albicans. The most common system of thrush is white lesions in the lining of the oral cavity (mouth, tongue, throat, etc.). Severe and persistent thrush is a sign of a weak immune system in children.
More than five new infections yearly
Recurrent or frequent new infections in children may be a sign of a weak immune system. This situation occurs because their immune system is incapable of producing antibodies that can attack germs. Asthma, allergies or eczema are not part of recurrent infections
Pneumonia is an illness that affects the respiratory system. It is caused by germs of different kinds: fungi, bacteria and viruses. Children with a weak immune system are particularly vulnerable to pneumonia.
How children with a weak immune system can stay healthy
If your child has a weak immune system, practising good hygiene can keep him healthy. Teaching your child proper hand washing technique can reduce his likelihood of contracting infections. Ensure your child washes his hands before mealtime and after using the bathroom. Keep surfaces and toys disinfected and clean.
Keep away from sick people
Avoiding close contact with sick people is another way of maximizing healthiness in your child. Infections can pass on from one person to another through different means, including air droplets and skin contact. Make sure your child does not share his belonging with a sick person.
It is recommended that every child should be immunized. If your child has a weak immune system, ensure you seek doctor’s counsel on which vaccine may be safe for him.
Sleep is highly beneficial to children with a weak immune system. Not getting adequate sleep can strain the immune system and limit white blood cells production. The white blood cell is an essential part of the immune system. It will be helpful if your child gets at least nine to eighteen hours of sleep.
Your child will need a diet that will provide essential nutrients that will strengthen his immune system. Fruits and vegetables are good examples of nutritious food.