Ways to boost kids’ immunity as RSV cases spike in Arizona

In the midst of a potential triple threat: flu, COVID, and RSV, here's how Arizona families can help their children boost their immunity.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:57 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As RSV cases rise in Arizona and across the country, many parents are looking for ways to strengthen their child’s immune system.

Arizona’s Family talked to Valley pediatrician Kristin Struble about ways parents can help their kids be as healthy as possible this winter.

“Rest, healthy foods, five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, getting some exercise, getting some sunlight, getting out there and you know playing outside. Those are the things that are definitely going to help and just not being fearful because fear is definitely a deterrent to the immune system function,” Struble said.

Here are her top five tips for keeping your kids healthy:

  • Dietary choices: Drink water & eat healthy rainbow vegetables & fruits with every meal
  • Sleep: Make sure to aim for at least 8 hours of restful (no technology) sleep
  • Socializing: Spend quality time with friends & family to feel connected
  • Exercise: Move at least 20 minutes a day to keep the body & guy happy
  • Relax: About 1 hour before sleeping, take time to relax, breathe, turn off devices & let the brain veg

With the rise in RSV cases and the start of cold/flu season plus COVID-19, Dr. Struble knows parents might be worried as we enter into what could be a rough season of sickness.

“I would just encourage parents to take a big deep breath and know that yes, your child is probably going to get sick more frequently, but they’re going to get through it,” Dr. Struble said.

She says if you are constantly trying to boost their immune systems, it should make for a much better winter.

“But don’t be discouraged if your child is becoming ill, you know every three to four weeks, because right now our immune systems are learning to once again recognize how to fight a lot of these viruses that we knew how to fight before the pandemic so we’re having in a sense to re-educate our immune systems,” she said.

Dr. Struble recommends eggs, apples, and/or avocado toast for breakfast. She also encourages parents to make sure your kids are eating colorful fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, and carrots along with lean meats.

The pediatrician also says kids should drink 60-64 ounces of water a day to “flush the body and keep it hydrated.”