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Why clean homes do NOT make for healthy children

Evoke.ie logoEvoke.ie 4 days ago Yolanda Zaw
© Provided by Associated News

Our children are growing up in homes that are ‘too clean’ for them, experts say.

Further to that, they’re saying kids should be eating dirt! 

Doctors John Gilbert and Rob Knight, are working on a landmark new book titled Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System. 

Image result for baby dirt eating gif © Provided by Associated News Image result for baby dirt eating gif

The two scientists are slamming our modern obsession with extreme cleanliness and arguing that dirt and germs can protect against disease and our uber-clean lifestyles are weakening our immune systems.

In their book, they state that some exposure to germs and microorganisms in early childhood is good for children as it helps develop the immune system. 

They point to the spike in the cases of eczema, asthma, hay fever and childhood diabetes in children who rarely roll in the mud or play with animals.

Without early exposure to dirt and germs, the immune system is unable to develop adequately and control its reaction to things such as dust and pollen. 

© Provided by Associated News

While an increase in hygiene practices – boiling water and pasteurizing milk – has helped ward off a number of diseases and deaths there is another extreme whereby children grow up in environments deemed too clean. 

Gilbert and Knight are joined by a chorus of experts who agree our modern sanitised lives breeds conditions of the immune system.

‘We used to live in much dustier environments,’ Dr Marsha Wills-Karp, a professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University, told The New York Times.

‘While you don’t want to go out and expose your child to aggressive infections, you don’t want to create such a sterile environment that their immune system doesn’t develop normally,’ she said.

© Provided by Associated News

‘It puts them at risk of developing immune diseases.’

A study conducted in 2016 and published The New England Journal of Medicine found that Amish children, who were living in environments described as ‘rich in microbes,’ or full of barnyard dust, had very low rates of asthma. 

Meanwhile a more recent study, from the University of Alberta in Canada, found that being exposed to pets from a young age lowered the risk of obesity and allergies. It also helped children create an early immunity to dirt and bacteria. 

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