Respiratory diseases are common diseases in children, accounting for the first number of outpatient and emergency visits and the main cause of hospitalization in children. As autumn and winter enter, pediatric respiratory health issues have once again attracted the attention of parents. Respiratory tract infections are most common in autumn and winter, especially children whose immune systems are not yet fully developed, who are most likely to be infected.
Does “immunity debt” really exist?
“My children are always sick this year” is the most common sentence heard in pediatric clinics recently. Does “immunity debt” really exist?
During the epidemic of respiratory infectious diseases in the past few years, children’s contact with viruses and bacteria was reduced and routine immunizations were delayed or interrupted. Children’s immune stimulation was insufficient and their susceptibility increased, resulting in a decline in herd immunity. This is what everyone often says today. “Immunity debt.” This is one of the reasons for the high incidence of recurrent respiratory infections this year. However, the “immunity debt” is short-term, and there is no need to panic. How to protect children from the intrusion and damage of various pathogenic infections is very important.
Do six things to build a protective barrier
First, maintain good home and personal hygiene habits.
In the past few years, parents and children have become very familiar with measures to prevent respiratory infectious diseases. During the normalization period, they still cannot be ignored or despised. The familiar “three-piece suit” (wearing a mask scientifically, maintaining social distance, and paying attention to personal hygiene) and the “five musts” (wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, Keeping windows open) is still a good protective measure.
Again, it is important to emphasize measures such as wearing masks, performing hand hygiene, and increasing ventilation to help reduce respiratory and contact transmission of common pathogens.
Second, pay attention to vaccination against respiratory infections.
Improve planned immunization coverage for pathogenic infections and raise people’s awareness of the importance of vaccination. Improving the level of herd immunity in children through immunization can reduce the number of susceptible groups and help alleviate the epidemic of the disease. Pay attention to seasonal influenza vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines, etc., as well as various types of vaccines planned for infants and young children.
Third, we should pay attention to the prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases during the season when infection is high.
What is particularly pointed out here is that for children with allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma, infection and chronic allergic respiratory diseases are inherently related. Children with rhinitis and asthma will have symptoms such as coughing and wheezing “amplified” once their respiratory tract is infected, so These children need to pay more attention to the follow-up of respiratory specialists and carry out preventive treatments under the guidance of doctors, including continuous inhaled drug prevention and nasal spray drug prevention, allergy prevention and desensitization treatment, etc.
Fourth, balanced dietary nutrition.
Daily meals and meals are the most important guarantee for children to enhance their immunity. Adequate daily water, calorie, protein and vitamin supplements, especially daily high-quality protein (milk, eggs, beans, poultry, fish, etc.) without previous allergies are the cornerstones of children’s physical enhancement. Parents need to put more thought into strengthening their children’s dietary support.
Fifth, simple and friendly environment.
The so-called simple and friendly environment refers to normal temperature (18℃-24℃) and humidity (40%-70%), clean environment, and avoid long-term intensive crowd contact. Whether at home or outdoors, it is also very important to take certain protection.
Sixth, a happy mood and a relaxed mind.
Because a happy mood can excite the sympathetic nerve, thereby increasing the secretion of adrenaline and making the mood happy; it can also stimulate immune cells in the body and improve the body’s immunity. School-age and adolescent children who are under heavy academic pressure need to balance work and rest to prevent immune disorders and infections from taking advantage of the situation (the author Zhang Lei is from the International Diagnostic and Treatment Department of the National Children’s Medical Center and Shanghai Children’s Medical Center Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine) deputy director)