The basic nature of young children is to touch every thing in their environment including things that their parents find disgusting. Contagious diseases give a legitimate cause for concern, but some would argue that we have gone overboard with regard to protecting our kids from germs.
Research and experts reveal that exposing infants to germs can protect them from illnesses like asthma and allergies. This hygiene hypothesis says that when exposure to viruses, bacteria and parasites is limited early in life, there is a good chance to have autoimmune diseases during adulthood.
Kids who attended daycare in early life or grow up on a farm show lower rates of allergies. As baby’s brain needs interaction and stimulation to develop, the young immune system needs exposure to germs so that it can regulate and adapt itself.
In a recent study, the research team found that children who were exposed to more germs had less occurrence of inflammation later on in life. Thus, it is important to have microbial exposure early in life to have a stronger immune system and keep inflammation away in adulthood.
Most of the germs that live on our bodies and lurking in our environment are harmless and live with us for so long. Over the past half century and because of modern life, the human behavior has changed and many microbes like those living in the gut are disappearing. There are good and bad consequences for these disappearances.
When we overdo sanitizing infants’ environment for their protection, we instead deprive them the chance for a strong immune system. Exaggerated hygiene campaigns prevent kids from getting exposed to the good microorganisms, and the overuse of antibiotics makes them less healthy. The proponents of this hygiene hypothesis say that germs in the dirt are good for health, which is an interesting idea.