In any children’s team – it doesn’t matter if it is large (20 children in a group) or small (5 kids) – it has its own microclimate, in a scientific way – the microbiological environment. This situation is very different from the conditions in which the child lived at home: there, a certain atmosphere surrounded him from birth, and he had already become accustomed to the bacteria and viruses that his close relatives shared with him.
Once in the kindergarten, where each child brought their own set of germs and viruses, children begin to exchange them, and as a result, the diseases of all the group members are inevitable.
To understand the mechanism that drives this process, let’s begin with the basic concepts.
IMMUNITY is the body’s ability to defend against antigens, that is, foreign substances: viruses, bacteria, parasites.
LEUKOCYTES (blood cells) – the main “shock force” of our defense system. This is a huge “family”, which, in addition to leukocytes, also includes lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils. Macrophages play an equally important role in the confrontation of the aggressors with the cells of the skin and mucous membranes.
When antigens enter our body, they are destroyed by leukocytes and macrophages, and if they do not cope, T and B lymphocytes come to the rescue. They have a more powerful system of protection, because they produce special proteins – immunoglobulins (antibodies), which complete the process of destroying aggressors.
Cytokines and interferons help the lymphocytes and immunoglobulins, substances that are produced by all the cells in our body.
ANTIBODIES (immunoglobulins) The human body produces 5 types of antibodies, each of which carries out its mission. They are denoted by capital letters of the Latin alphabet: A, M, G, D, E.
- Immunoglobulins A (IgA) protect human mucous membranes, that is, they fight on the front line. They bind germs and viruses right in the mouth, nose, throat, stomach, intestines and prevent them from getting into the internal organs. But antibodies of this group do not memorize viruses and microbes.
- Immunoglobulins M (IgM) are produced in response to the first meeting with the aggressor, and they also do not memorize it. Only when confronted with it several more times, they enter it into their “card index” for several years. The mechanism of vaccine action is based on this IgM property, when small doses of microorganisms are injected into the baby’s body with small doses in order to “train” the memory of its defenders.
- Immunoglobulins G (IgG) are also produced in response to the appearance of viruses, microbes, allergens. They always remember them and prevent the onset of the disease. Unfortunately, IgG reacts not only to the aggressor itself, but also to the substances it produces, and incidentally to healthy cells.
- Immunoglobulins E (IgE) appear after the parasites or with the onset of an allergic reaction.
- Immunoglobulins D (IgD) are involved in the production of B-lymphocytes.
These are the features of their immune system, which at different stages of its development has different possibilities.
1st critical period: from birth to 29 days
The baby’s own immune system has not yet been formed, so it weakly resists germs and viruses. High risk of infectious diseases.
2nd critical period: 4–6 months
The antibodies that the baby received from the mother before birth disappear. If microbes attack a small organism, its immune system can already fight back, which is accompanied by IgM production (however, they do not remember the offender, therefore the disease is acute and rarely becomes chronic).
At the same time, due to an IgA deficiency, the risk of the emergence of infectious diseases remains.
The kids are now very sensitive to acute respiratory infections. Allergies and hereditary diseases may be exacerbated.
3rd critical period: 2nd year of life
The immune system still reacts to antigens without memorizing them, so the baby will not get chronic pneumonia, even if it suffers pneumonia several times. This reaction is the protective system of children must IgM.
IgA is still in short supply.
Contacts of children with the outside world are expanding, while their sensitivity to viral and microbial infections persists. In addition, at this age, the children may appear signs of atopic dermatitis, but the manifestations of food allergies, if they were, disappear.
According to the degree of development of the immune system, babies are not yet ready to participate in the children’s team.
4th critical period: 5–7 years
There is a period of rapid growth. The content of IgA, M and G is approaching the level of indicators of adults.
Against this background, the content of IgE is higher than ever. At this time, allergies (atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma) and diseases that cause parasites (worms) can worsen in children.
Unfortunately, it is during this period that chronic diseases are formed.
This should be done not earlier than 3-4 years. First, the baby’s immune system is already formed, so that it can resist infection.
Interferons, immunoglobulins and in particular IgA are produced in sufficient quantities. Do not lag behind them and those defenses that are produced in the cells (for example, T-lymphocytes).
All of these links are essential in the fight against infection: both with viruses and bacteria.
Urgently, something effective can hardly be taken, because the only way to help a child become invulnerable is hardening, but the effect of it does not appear immediately. Perhaps, for a start it is worth trying to identify the baby in a small group.
By law, the child must undergo a medical examination, during which specialists fill out a card – Form No. 26. Then she will be given to the kindergarten, and every year she will be updated with new information about the health of the baby.
By the time he enters school, he will become the hallmark of his state of health.
During the examination, the child will be examined by all the main specialists: a surgeon, a dentist, a neuropathologist, an ophthalmologist, an otolaryngologist, a dermatologist. If the baby is observed by other doctors, you will need their conclusion.
If a child has allergies (atopic dermatitis, eczema, asthma), he will need a certificate from an allergist; heart problems (congenital malformations, rheumatism, mitral valve prolapse) – from a cardiac rheumatologist; disorders of the kidneys (pyelonephritis) – from a nephrologist.
The second stage of the examination – tests: a general analysis of blood and urine, bacterial examination of feces and scrapings on worms eggs, X-ray examination of the chest (with its help, the doctor eliminates latent forms of tuberculosis). Sometimes children are prescribed ultrasound of the heart, kidney, abdomen (ultrasonography) or brain (electroencephalography, echoencephalography).
An important part of the medical record is the “vaccination report”, where vaccination data is entered from birth.
The results of the examination are listed by the medical specialists in the map, after which the district pediatrician summarizes and determines the baby in one of 5 health groups. Parents need to take this mark into account, because kindergartens are not only universal, but also specialized (for example, speech therapy or for children with visual impairments), where the child will be helped to cope with a problem or correct it.
Usually the first group includes children who have no health problems and who rarely get sick.
The second includes several categories of babies:
- children with abnormalities in the functioning of internal organs (for example, heart – mitral valve prolapse);
- babies who get sick often (more than 6–7 times a year) and for a long time (acute respiratory disease with complications such as otitis, sinusitis).
The third, fourth and fifth groups unite children with chronic diseases (for example, with bronchial asthma) or congenital malformations.
First, in the clinic at the place of residence of the child or parents. If the baby is registered in another institution and you take a specialist opinion there, it will be considered valid in your local clinic. For example, a child is observed in the immunological center, where he is immunized according to a special schedule.
Bring an extract to the district doctor, and he will read all the vaccination data in the medical card for the kindergarten.
With regard to controversial issues, they are all solved at the medical control commission of the district clinic.
The immune system can simultaneously respond to a million different “aggressors,” which equals approximately 10,000 vaccinations! And vaccination gives us the opportunity to manage this ability, because its goal is to protect the body of a small one from serious diseases with which it cannot cope itself. That is why it is so important for babies to be vaccinated at that age and in the order that the calendar prescribes for parents.
Children can be vaccinated while continuing to attend kindergarten, they do not need any “quarantine”. The exceptions are cases when the child’s temperature rises in response to the vaccination or it becomes capricious.
This is a common reaction, it requires a more attentive attitude to the baby, and nothing more.