Your kids insist on playing in the muddiest, most unhygienic environments as if pure joy lies only in the dirt. They eat everything in sight without a care in the world, hang out with other little people who may or may not sniffle all over them, and definitely do not understand the concept of wearing a mask when they could just breathe all over their friends and vice versa.
TL;DR: Their idea of fun differs vastly from yours.
You do empathize because you were young once too, but you cannot deny the involuntary shudder at the thought of all the diseases they could be picking up right now. You know what would give you some peace? Knowing that your child’s immunity to some diseases is measurable. Curious? Read on…
1) Where the Gladiators At?
Antibodies; a.k.a immunoglobulins. You have probably heard of them, so you know these guys are hard at work protecting your child from the big, bad world of germs and diseases. Their enemies are a pretty colorful and varied lot – you have bacteria, viruses, fungi, random allergens – you name it, they fight it. So the antibodies or immunoglobulins are essentially the gladiators that fight every intrepid exploring germ that dares cross the boundaries of your child’s body.
2) The Name and the Fame
You have to know who does what before you go any further. So, you can have your meet-the-family moment right here: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is one of the main men in the resistance against infection. IgG is the largest army that specifically fights bacterial and viral invaders. IgM is the first guy the body thinks of producing when a fight is about to go down. IgE is that one absentee guy who shows up only when the drama happens (like an overreaction to allergens, and parasitic infections). Lastly, this guy, IgD is the mysterious soldier – no one knows exactly what this guy does.
3) Are They Doing Their Jobs?
Now to get down to business – how do you know this army is actually doing its job? If you have questions and you want answers, look no further than an immunoglobulin test. This is the test that will tell you whether or not your child is adequately protected from infections or if they have an infection. If for some unfortunate reason, your kid has a deficiency in immunity, this test will tell you that too. You should get your results in a few days, and the doctor will tell you where to go from there.
4) The Bad News
Yes, all this measuring immunity business is cool, but before you break out the happy dance moves, we just have to break it to you – needles. The test is done by collecting a blood sample from the vein, so if your child is the sort who considers needles the mortal enemy, our sincerest apologies and all the luck in the world to you.
5) Busting Out the Big Guns
Now there have been advances in immunity measurement options, and COVID-19 has given us a reason to find better ways. Specifically, the measurement of your child’s T-cells (cells that develop from the bone marrow and contribute majorly to immunity) can just up the immunity game. Some pretty nifty tools and next-generation sequencing methods have been released to that end, but that is a story for another day.
Your child’s safety is your number one priority, even if they fail to compute. But if you got no chill when it comes to the little one, you can bet the antibodies got even less chill. This means you can relax, get that antibody test, get those vaccinations done, and let your child be a child.