What is the immune system and how does it work?

The immune system protects our bodies from germs. Tiny invaders called pathogens constantly try to enter our bodies through the skin, the mouth, the nose and all over. Bacteria and viruses are common pathogens that make us sick. 

The job of the immune system is to fight these pathogens and get them out of the body. What’s so incredible about the immune system is that it remembers how to fight the infection, so if the pathogen comes back for round 2, the body can beat it off straight away! 

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How to keep the immune system healthy

The immune system can take care of itself very well. Most people naturally have strong immune systems but there are things we can do to make it even stronger. 

All you have to do to keep your immune system strong is:

Keep your hands clean - wash them after touching dirty things and before eating. Our hands are full of germs and if we touch our mouth with dirty hands you can guess what will happen.

Eat healthy food - plenty of vegetables and lots of water. Vegetables are like superfoods, designed to feed superheroes. They are your body’s favourite food. Water helps clean our bodies from the inside, it’s much better than juice and fizzy drinks that are filled with sugar. Sugar weakens the immune system.

Do exercise -  exercise gives the cells of our bodies more oxygen and oxygen keeps them alive.

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Don’t worry be happy - stress and worry can make us sick.

Get enough rest - the body does so much work every day. All that work and no play makes the body sad. Getting a good night's sleep helps the body build up strength, ready to start another day.

Enjoy the sunshine - the sun is essential for our bodies to make vitamin D, a special vitamin we need to stay strong and healthy. It also relaxes the body, letting it recharge.

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