A pharmacist explains how to keep children's immune systems in peak condition to help protect them against winter bugs and maintain their health.
What's the best way to boost my child's immune system over the winter?
Pharmacist Anshu Kaura, from Lloyds Pharmacy, says: "There are a few ways in which you can try to prevent your child from getting poorly. The first of these is to get them vaccinated.
"You should also teach your child how to wash their hands correctly, as this will help prevent germs from spreading.
"Making sure your child has a balanced diet may help with boosting their immune system, as this will ensure they're getting the right vitamins and nutrients as well as helping to ensure their bones develop correctly and strongly.
"Eating a balanced diet should ensure your child is getting all the vitamins they need, but if you're concerned they aren't getting enough, you can give them a daily multivitamin. Vitamin A and vitamin C are both great for boosting children's immune systems, with vitamin C also helping their vision in dim light, along with keeping the skin healthy . In addition, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is important for creating red blood cells.
"Vitamin D is also important for children, as it's needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, by regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. The body needs calcium and phosphorus to help build and repair bones and teeth, help nerves function and make muscles contract.
"Vitamin E may also be helpful, as it protects cells from oxidative stress, which is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body which can lead to cell and tissue damage."