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26 Mar '17

Let your kids to get a little dirt!

Posted by Sandra Sosa
It seems crazy but it's necessary to put it on perspective. Nowadays kids, especially those growing up on big cities from developed countries, tend to live in a kind of "sterile bubble"; since the very beginning of their lives, parents are very concerned about an almost obsessive cleanness and spend thousand of dollar on a myriad of gadgets and products to keep their offspring "clean and safe".

Of course that hygiene is important, especially with small babies but such an obsessive cleaning behaviour could lead to health problems too! And perhaps a sustained increase on allergic reactions and all kind of immunologic disorders could be due to a under-exposure to natural environment substances while growing up.

Human immune system works "recognizing" and "differentiating" the "own" from the "alien" regarding to molecules, antigens, proteins and so on; but to "learn" what's is own and what's not it's mandatory to keep contact with environmental elements, otherwise the immune systems is not able to recognize and differentiate the own from the external due to the lack of information.Kids playing on the mud

And how a kid may have such contact! Well, avoiding obsessive parenting cleaning! Of course it's necessary a daily bath and wash hands before eating, but you don't need a bottle of antibacterial gel to clean your little kid's hands immediately after he/she touches something on the street.

Neither it's necessary to sterilize every dish, fork and glass to be used by your kids; in fact, after the 6th month of age, you may wash the little kids dishes the same way you use for your own, no further hygienic measures are required, no matter what TV advertisements tell you!

On the other hand, there's nothing bad allowing your kids to get a little dirt on the sand or soil, in fact contact with pollens, seeds and many other environmental elements will be valuable for their immune system development.

Of course, at the end of the day and regularly through the entire journey you will need to wash their hands time to time, but forget about antibacterial gels every 10 minutes as well sterilizing everything they touch while keeping away from potential "dirt" sources.

Let your kids to get a little bit dirt and their immune system will develop stronger, leading to less infectious as well immunologic disorders; it seems crazy but it's true.

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