Relax Parents, Science Says Dirt Is Good For Kids

You know the crack about “hey – we drank out of the hose and it was just fine?” Yup. But in modern times, as parents, it’s kind of just in our nature to sanitize and sterilize everything our little ones come in contact with. But according to Jack Gilbert, who studies microbial ecosystems at the University of Chicago, dirt is actually good for babies and their immune systems, so it’s okay to set down those antibacterial wipes, mama.

Gilbert, a father himself, researched how exposure to dirt and bacteria affects our kids for his new book, “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System.” And he found that “most of the exposures were actually beneficial.” He also says parents tend to go a little overboard with the over-sterilizing.

“It’s fine to wash their hands if there’s a cold or flu virus going around, but if they’re interacting with a dog and the dog licks their face, that’s not a bad thing,” Gilbert says. “In fact, that could be extremely beneficial for the child’s health.”

This “dirt expert” also says exposing kids to dirt helps build their immune system and that allergies are the result of parents trying too hard to protect kids. And get this, Gilbert says a study of more than 300,000 kids found that parents who lick their kid’s pacifier when it drops on the ground instead of washing before giving it back to junior have kids who “developed less allergies, less asthma, less eczema.” So be a “pacifier licker” and let your kids get dirty – your kids will be healthier for it!

Source: Scary Mommy


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