How can children get sick less often? Good afternoon It is my honor to be invited by Mu Mian Speech to be here and give a talk and thank everyone who presents today coming here in such a hot weather to discuss together about how to help our kids grow up healthily Every parent hopes their children to get sick less often, or not be ill at all This is our ideal target But to make it come true in our real life is quite difficult sometimes In my clinical experience I’ve been working for almost 30 years In my clinical practice I often have parents asking why their kids often get sick In the clinic I have met more than one families with their children See the doctor this month and come back next month even 2 or 3 times a month The children are always in a state of illness In this case, the parents are always very anxious always ask me that what is wrong with their kids Are they undernourished? Is the food inappropriate? Anything they need? Or is there any problems with their immune systems Actually For these children who get sick a lot situations like nutrition is not enough food is not enough microelements are not enough and the immune system goes wrong are rare actually More often than not in the process of raising children we may do things in a wrong way So here is a simple list the characteristics of children who get sick often This is a simple generalization The 1st one is the most common one Children do a little or no exercise I often see in outpatient service 2 or 3 years old children they’re all being held or in strollers they never walk by themselves Now the conditions are relatively good parents grandparents or babysitters all like to carry their kids go out by car and are well cared at home too so they have little exercise Now some parents may say We let them do exercise but they still often get sick Because they stay indoors they never play outside This is also the 2nd reason that cause children get vulnerable The 3rd one is our kids nowadays, actually for our kids there is enough nutrition but their diet is improper thus, they can’t have enough energy and get sick easily What’s more the living condition for our kids now is far too good when the life gets better The children are taken care of too carefully It is common in the clinic that when the children are here they are accompanied by a roomful of families at least 4 or 5 all kinds of give them water give them snacks hold them in arms too meticulous These children are like flowers in greenhouses they are more vulnerable and prone to illness Also normally these children are taken to various interest classes and all kinds of training courses like math, English all start at an early age leave little time to do sport exercise These are what I observe and conclude during clinical work the characteristics of vulnerable kids Based on these charateristics we can find the secret of help our kids get sick less often The first point I want to share with you is Let the children exercise scientifically This well the benefits of exercise I’m sure you’re familiar with that like improving fitness Besides enhancing physical fitness exercise can promote gastrointestinal motility Therefore can help children digest better and enhance their appetite We always find that If I take the kids out for a workout today He may have a bad appetite usually but have a good one today Other than enhancing appetite it can also improve their sleep If the children go swimming today they will sleep well at night So In addition to improving appetite and sleep exercise also makes children happier We adults also have this experience when we do sports Let’s say I exercise today though I’m tired but I will be very excited in a happy state after children do exercise they will also be in a good mood less tantrums and less crying When they have a better diet better sleep and better mood their health conditions can be improved so exercise is of vital importance But some parents may say Yes, my kids have a lot of sport exercise everyday why are they still sick all the time Now what we may have done wrong in letting them do sports and makes them more likely to get sick instead or do nothing to prevent them from getting ill What are the wrong kinds of exercise? First is all indoors with better living conditions all kind of activities are available indoors and our kids are coddled: for that they can’t stand sunlight nor wind blow and the outdoor environment is not so good, we always let them stay indoors. But there are some issues with the indoor environment: first of all, usually it is a closed space so it will be hard for it to maintain a good indoor air circulation moreover, although it is not quite an issue during summer times, there tend to be too many people indoor during winter for that relatively fewer children will go outside Besides, winter is the season when children are more vulnerable to infection like respiratory tract infection. So because there is more source of infection, there is a greater chance of cross infection among children The case I am always seeing in my outpatient care experience is that children often get sick right after coming back from school, or participating in an indoor activity. Then, these kinds of exercises may not be the best fit for kids. So the thing is that It is good for us to take children outside during spring and fall, when the weather is usually nice, but we have to keep them stay indoor when it is too cold or too hot outside, or they may get sick easily So this kind of consistent and unsystematic exercising -for it only happens if the weather is good- does not really help improve children’s physical health, which makes it not an helpful way of exercising if we want to improve children’s health. Another point I really want to emphasize is what we called a pulsed pattern of exercise. What does “pulsed” mean? I have a graph for you: well this is the story behind it: there is a child who has an interesting lifestyle – he never goes outside. but here we got a small party among kids today the other kids are like: let’s go out and do some fun things and the parent can’t say you can’t go for no one don’t want her kids to be happy So here he goes, has a lot of fun and feels exhausted after hours of playing And right after he gets back, he gets sick. Now whoever took him outside will face the blame, and everyone will go like: “See, you shouldn’t have taken him outside and exhausted him with those activities, now he’s sick. He won’t go anywhere the next time.” So then the kid just stays at home. And after a while the parents start to thinking: “Well, he has been healthy recently, then we shouldn’t be letting him stay inside.” So they send him to a physical training and when he comes back he gets sick again, and stays home since then So it is like a two polar thing that the kid either does too much exercise or does non. And after each time he gets exercise, he becomes ill again. Many parents may be unaware of this pattern but it is a very common case in the outpatient department. So how can we avoid these improper ways of exercising correctly helping children improve their physical health? Here I have a list of some useful tips The first one is: Have outdoor exercise all year long What I really like about the theme for this event, which is “let children grow towards the sun” , is that we should really let them grow facing the sun because now the chance for kids to be in an outdoor environment, living under the sunlight, has become very rare Everything happens indoor Here some parents may say” Then what should I do with the bad air quality, like haze and dust storm? It is for sure a consideration, however, our environmental issue has been alleviated a lot comparing to in the past There are certainly haze and dust storm one some days but they appears much less severe and harmful nowadays, so we shouldn’t continue using the extreme weather as an excuse of not letting kids having outdoor activities. I also want to mention that some parents say that they don’t want their kids to be outside when the weather is too cold or hot or they may easily get sick. However in this case, if we think about our weather in general, like the changes in weather among seasons, there is never significant sudden rise or drop in the temperature: the change in weather is always a gradual process of course very occasionally, there are some days when the weather suddenly goes down or up, and it is definitely okay to avoid these days, but we should go back to our regular outdoor exercises as soon as the weather falls into its normal curve I believe doing in this way, the outdoor exercise will be sufficient for maintaining a good physical health of children’s I have had a patient, a boy who had been persisted in outdoor exercise after hearing my advices And his mother is very supportive as well. He told me that after doing this for one year he saw significant improvement in his physical health After that he left comments on my personal blog, Weibo Saying that he was very thankful to my useful advice But actually there is really nothing difficult for us to follow the advice as long as we agree with the lifestyle it is advocating and be persistent, we can all be able to improve our children’s health. There is one more thing we should be careful with exercising that it has to be done step by step. The reason why I am emphasizing this is that because sometimes, for example parents who has listened to this speech may go back and think like, “hey, we should immediately start this” so then they assign heavy exercises to their children, or send the children to a training program at once These days a common lesson of a training program is around 40 minutes to an hour or more so then the parents will find: the kids get sick right after they come back we need to be careful about this kind of cases I demonstrated trend graph for the intensity of exercising, aiming to give you a brief sense of how we could gradually add more exercise how we could gradually add more exercise for our kids: beginning with around five, ten to fifteen minutes a day and steadily increasing to the next level in every two or three days so that the work will be accomplishable for children.