Why do children get sick more often?
According to statistics, the incidence of children with respiratory infections is 1.5-3 times higher than that of adults. In this article I would like to consider the reasons for this phenomenon.
Lack of immunological experience
For some reason, in our time, many are used to associate frequent childhood illnesses with reduced immunity and at every sneeze snake they try to stuff the baby with different immunostimulants.
In fact, reduced or increased immunity has nothing to do with the frequency of infections. As already discussed in the article "What is ARI", after meeting with the majority of viruses that cause ARVI, the body develops immunity to them, and at the next meeting of inflammation such a virus does not cause.
We are surrounded by many carriers of viruses – both people and objects (for more details on the ways of transferring ARVI, you can read here). However, if the adult body has already become acquainted with most of them, then the child is only to be. And this familiarity occurs through the infection of the body with the subsequent development of immunity to the causative agent, respectively, is always accompanied by symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection, to a greater or lesser extent.
Thus, in the overwhelming majority of cases the immune system of a child is not weaker than that of an adult, and it can quite easily cope with viruses, but because of the lack of immunological experience, it has to cope with them more often. The way out of this situation is time.
Anatomical and physiological features
Here I would like to note two points.
First, the airways of children are arranged differently, they are more narrow. In addition, babies do not know how to blow their nose and expectorated mucus. Due to this, they often have complications and the longer the residual phenomena remain after the illness, in connection with which one ORVI can smoothly flow into another and it seems to us that the child is sick constantly.
Secondly, children are lower than adults, and droplets of moisture (containing a portion of viruses), flying from the noses and mouths of people passing by, tend to go down, not up. Accordingly, the lower the child, the more viruses he inhales.
The way out of this situation is the same – time.
According to statistics, children living in cities are more likely to suffer than village babies. Air pollution, not always adequate use of heating appliances, lack of ventilation, crowding of family members in the apartment where the child lives, etc., have a negative impact on the local respiratory immune protection of the baby (so-called local immunity).
A special group of high risk is the children of smoking parents, since they are passive smokers from birth, which can not but affect the mechanisms of local respiratory protection.
However, the most important point in the matter under consideration is the inconsistency between hygienic norms of temperature and humidity in the apartments where children live, as well as in kindergartens. Especially often this discrepancy is observed in the heating season, and given that in many cities of our country it lasts from September to May – almost all the year round.
In order to ensure that the mucosa feels well and can fully exercise its protective functions, it is necessary to have an air temperature of 18-22 ° C and a humidity of 40-60%. At temperatures above 22ºC, the mucus in the nose dries almost instantaneously and instead of removing viruses and bacteria from the body, preventing the development of inflammatory processes, it becomes an excellent food for the same bacteria.
Thus, if a child is very often sick with protracted respiratory infections (especially if they are accompanied by grunting and dry coughing), then he has a conflict with the environment. The way out of this situation is to try to change the environment, at least in the child's room (ventilation, humidifier, wet cleaning before bed, thermometer and hygrometer to evaluate our efforts, etc.).
Wrong way of life
Here we will consider several sub-items:
Hardening. Here you need a separate article, because there are many aspects. The main thing to understand is that hardening is a way of life, and not just after a shower, pour yourself a bucket of cold water and with a sense of duty to go to bed in a dry heated room with closed windows.
Food. It should be varied, but moderate (it is necessary to feed a child, it is not necessary to feed him – it puts the body on extra work). On a mandatory basis, the daily ration should include vegetables, fruits, cereals, meat, dairy products. No synthetic vitamin complexes will replace natural vitamins and minerals, because a small organism simply can not adequately assimilate them.
Since now almost every second child is unreasonably put "allergies" (instead of atopic dermatitis, which can not be associated with allergies at all) and prescribe a hypoallergenic diet, these children are deprived of very important nutrients not only necessary for growth and development, but and for the adequate functioning of the immune system. Thus, the exclusion of any kind of food from the diet should be justified, and the excluded products should be replaced by equivalent.
Drink. Optimum – still non-boiled mineral water, compotes, fruit drinks. The liquid prevents drying out of the mucosa and thickening of the mucus, which affects the local immunity. In addition, a gradual decrease in the temperature of the beverage can be an additional method of hardening. It is not necessary to always drink water from the refrigerator, but sometimes you can, and for constant drinking, you have enough room temperature water.
Clothing. Often I hear the rule "you need to dress a child as yourself, plus one layer." It's unclear where it came from, but it's not the worst, sometimes even 2-3 layers on top. Thermoregulation in children works much more actively than in adults, and they move much more, and therefore the child should not have any more garments than his parents. With a running child, you can even remove one layer. The main thing is to take off your clothes gradually, so that the body gets used to the new conditions and rebuilt.
Remember that the immune system of a child sweating in the wind will get a bigger blow than if it just cooled a little.
Walking. Every day, regardless of the weather. In the rain it is fine to run around in rubber boots and a raincoat.
Summer rest. Ideally, this rest from people, urban air, household chemicals and chlorinated water.
Treatment of diseases. The biggest mistakes in the treatment of ARVI, which negatively affect the immune system of the baby, is the intake of various medicinal (and "pseudo-medicinal") drugs (especially antibiotics) without necessity, as well as incompleteness. Under treatment it is necessary to understand the circumstances when the child no longer has signs of illness, and he is sent to a kindergarten (or to other places in a large cluster of people), where he again picks up the virus and becomes ill. It is clear that dating with viruses can not be avoided, but weakened after a previous illness the body will be harder to cope with them. Ideally, a week or two after illness contacts to limit.
Features of social behavior, expansion of contacts.
Kids learn the world tactile, and therefore their communication with their peers is often more close (especially for preschoolers) than for adults. In addition, many children are very active social life: kindergarten, school development courses, sports sections, etc.
In such a situation, it is very easy to meet a virus (especially considering that a sick child is often sent to a kindergarten simply because there is nowhere to go), and due to the lack of immunological experience, almost any virus will cause inflammation with the manifestation of the corresponding symptoms of ARVI .
However, not giving a child to communicate with peers and not leading him to children's groups is not an option, because when entering primary school he will still have to get acquainted with the same viruses, accordingly we will simply push the inevitable.
Exit from the situation – if possible, "dose" SARS, do not give the child to pick up new viruses, until he recovers from the previous illness.
Non-compliance with personal hygiene rules
The younger the children, the worse they observe the rules of personal hygiene, and washing one's hands is one of the main measures for preventing ARVI, because the contact path of infection is one of their most frequent (more details on the ways of transmission of ARVI can be read here).
Solution: teach the child to wash their hands after walking, toilets and before meals.
Thus, many reasons why children get sick more often than adults, disappear only with the passage of time. However, to influence the severity of the symptoms of the disease, as well as its duration (and a little on the frequency), in most cases it is possible if you create a certain environment, lead a healthy lifestyle and observe personal hygiene.