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5 Signs of a Strong Immune System in Your Child

There are five signs of a strong immune system you can detect in your child. This article tells you what to look out for them and how to keep your kid infection-free.

A young boy smiling and throwing his hands up while wearing a sheet as a superhero cape.

For parents, being constantly worried about their children’s well-being is normal. When they fall ill, you’ll try getting them back on their feet quickly. While they’re healthy, you’re constantly giving them the best nutrition to ensure their optimal health. So, what are the signs of a strong immune system in your child?  

Here, we delve into ways to detect a healthy immune system in your child and good habits to ensure they stay infection-free. 

5 Signs of a Strong Immune System in Your Children

Four young children chasing a football outdoors.
Happy, energetic children are signs of a strong immune system.

A child with a strong immune system will usually display these signs: 

1. They are less likely to get sick or infected 

Viral or bacterial infections such as colds, bronchiolitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, the flu, mumps and chickenpox are spread easily in places like classrooms. Children with a healthy immune system would be more well-protected from diseases or infections. 

2. Their wounds heal normally 

Most children enjoy being physically active and they tend to fall, getting cuts and scrapes. The Immune system is responsible for tissue repair and regeneration, which is why a strong one can help heal wounds quicker.

3. They have normal bowel movements 

The digestive tract houses almost 70% of the immune system. As a result, if your kids have a strong immune system, they’ll also have normal bowel movements and healthy stool that is smooth and soft but not watery or with hard lumps. 

4. They are energetic 

Children naturally have a lot more energy than adults. While it can be quite tiring for parents, high energy is also a good thing. A disorder in the immune system would impact the central nervous system, causing constant fatigue. So, having your children running around and playing with each other is actually a sign that their immune systems are working well. 

5. They are happy 

Another sign of a strong immune system in your child is that they’re mostly in good spirits. Stress can creep up on anyone and peer pressure and school demands can take a toll on a child’s mental health.

High-stress levels can present as a cause and symptom of a weak immune system. Excessive stress can affect the endocrine system, leading to lowered immunity and several other conditions. When children are happy, their bodies will excrete ‘happy hormones’, keeping their immune systems strong

How to Keep Your Child’s Immune System Strong

A child sleeping in the foreground, while a mother covering her with a blanket in the background.
Well-rested children will show signs of a strong immune system.

Your child needs to stay strong, especially since they continuously face threats of new viruses and diseases.

In TCM, the body’s immunity depends on “”healthy energy””, or zheng qi (证气). This flows throughout the body, defending it against external pathogens and is closely linked to the body’s organ functions. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Zhang Ruifen explains, “Each organ has its own qi (energy) and it contributes to overall qi in the body.” Well-functioning organ systems contribute to strong zheng qi, which makes one less likely to fall ill.

Here are some habits that can help maintain strong immunity: 

Consuming a healthy diet 

Take care of your children’s digestive system by ensuring that they eat well. Prevent them from consuming anything excessively cold, sweet or spicy and limit their intake of fried foods. You can also add probiotics and prebiotics to your children’s diet. 

Choosing natural supplements 

If needed, give your children supplements to boost their immune system. Some supplements made from herbs and other natural ingredients are arguably safer and healthier.

TCM believes that a child’s Lung and Spleen systems are still weak, which can temper their overall immunity. Deficient Lungs and Spleen can trigger respiratory illnesses like colds and digestive conditions like an upset stomach. Therefore, TCM remedies for children’s immune systems focus on tonifying the Lungs and Spleen. 

TCM recommends herbs such as poria mushroom (fu ling, 茯苓), white atractylodes (bai zhu, 白术), euryale seed (qian shi, 芡实), coix barley (yi yi ren, 薏苡仁), astragalus root (huang qi, 黄芪) and Chinese yam (huai shan, 淮山). Chinese Yam can be consumed daily due to its mild and neutral properties. Alternatively, you can make a soup with astragalus root, white atractylodes, liquorice root (gan cao, 甘草) and pork ribs.  

Prior to using these herbs on your child, do consult a TCM physician to ensure their suitability and effectiveness. 

Getting enough sleep 

Our immune memory is formed while we’re asleep and children who have enough sleep will develop a stronger immune system. In TCM, the sleep-and-awake cycle is regulated by the continuous circulation of wei qi (卫气 , protective qi). While asleep, wei qi circulates the body, going through the meridians to nourish the body’s organs.

According to the National Sleep Foundation the number of hours of sleep children should be getting, is according to their age:

  • Infants (four to 11 months old): 12 to 15 hours of sleep
  • Toddlers (one to two years old): 11 to 14 hours of sleep
  • Preschool children (three to five years old) 10 to 13 hours sleep
  • School-age kids (six to 13 years old): nine to 11 hours of sleep

Don’t be afraid of a little cold 

TCM is of the opinion that parents shouldn’t cover their children too much during moderate exposure to cold weather. It states that children ages three to seven should start building their resistance against external pathogens to train their immune systems.

A little heat won’t hurt either 

UV rays may be harmful to the skin, but low exposure to sunlight has been proven to increase immunity. In 2016, researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center found that low levels of blue light in sun rays can stimulate T-cells, which play a big role in the human immune system. Similarly, TCM also believes that some sun exposure can boost yang qi (气), which is vital in children’s development. Let your children spend 30 minutes outdoors, preferably in the early morning when it’s less sunny.

Do you spot signs of a strong immune system in your child? If your answer is yes, that’s great! Keep doing what you’re doing. If you think your child requires help in boosting their immunity, try the tips in this article and they’ll soon be on a path to better health. 

This is an adaptation of an article, “Boost Your Child’s Immunity With TCM”, which first appeared on the Eu Yan Sang website.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2018. Immune Regulation of Tissue Repair and Regeneration via miRNAs—New Therapeutic Target.  [Accessed on 11 August 2022]
  2. Sleep Foundation. 2020. How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?  [Accessed on 11 August 2022]
  3. Georgetown University Medical Center. 2016. Sunlight Offers Surprise Benefit – It Energizes Infection Fighting T Cells.  [Accessed on 11 August 2022]

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