Babies Should Be Exposed To More Harmless Bacteria
This may sound like a backwards notion as so many parents are fighting to keep their children away from germs and bacteria, but new studies support the idea that children should encounter harmless bacteria in order to build their immune system. It has been long since discovered and promoted that products like hand sanitizers are playing a role in the diminishing potential of the human immune system, and the latest research certainly seems to agree. Web MD quotes Dr. Thom McDade, a professor at Northwestern University, in saying: “Just as a baby's brain needs stimulation, input, and interaction to develop normally, the young immune system is strengthened by exposure to everyday germs so that it can learn, adapt, and regulate itself”
By allowing children to encounter standard dirt and germs on playgrounds, classrooms, and even around the home, you are also allowing their immune systems to grow, respond and build a defense against these would be attackers. Similar to the way a newborn’s body must build antibodies by becoming sick, babies need germs for their bodies to develop protection from other, more harmful bacteria in the world.
Statistics Tell The Truth
If you’re still not a believer, you can find the latest article on this type of bacteria promotion in the journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The article was published by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, which is located in Baltimore, Maryland. It concludes through old and new data that children who are exposed to microorganisms at an early age are less susceptible to allergies throughout childhood and adulthood. To better understand this researchers studied 467 babies over a period of 3 years, during which the level of different allergens in each of the children’s homes was tested. This included specimens such as dust, dander, and even cockroach droppings. What they found was rather surprising; Npr.org explains: “Inner-city children who were exposed to cockroach, mouse and cat allergens in the first year of life had less wheezing at age 3. And children exposed to a wider variety of bacteria, especially those in the Bacteriodes and Firmicutes groups, were less likely to develop allergies or asthma. Children exposed to both did best of all.”
This information helps show just how important it is for children to be exposed to some of the standard bacteria found in their average surroundings, rather than trying to shield them from it.
Finding Ways To Keep It Natural
So how do you work this into your daily life without exposing your little one to too much at once? Well, obviously you still want to keep your child safe, happy, and clean when possible, so there’s no need to go out of your way to find any sort of bacteria or allergens for them to interact with. Instead, simply try to refrain from taking these natural allergens out of your child’s everyday life. A good example of this can be seen in the sand box, public library, or other places where children play and germs may be passed around. Medical News Today states: “Though a parent's instinct may be to protect their newborn from things like household bacteria, dander and allergens, new research suggests infants who are exposed to these irritants during their first year of life are less likely to experience allergies, wheezing and asthma.”
Of course you still want to keep your house clean and bathe your child regularly, but don’t worry so much about cleaning their hands every single time your child touches something while you are out and about. Remember that as a child you likely walked around touching things and interacting with dust, dirt, and bacteria as well, and here you are to tell the tale.
Promoting safe and healthy experiences for your child where they can touch pets, pick up objects that other children have played with, and play in the grass outside without feeling like they are doing something wrong can have strong benefits for them later in life. Not only will your child be less likely to develop asthma and many other allergic conditions, but he or she will also spend less time worrying about these types of bacteria as time goes on, which can then be helpful for their children in the future.
Before the time when personal bottles of hand sanitizer and many of the extreme cleansers on the market came to wipe bacteria out of your life, some bacteria played a helping hand in strengthening your immune system rather than just breaking it down. Cold and flus certainly begin due to types of bacteria found in your environment, but without any contact to these germs at all, your body won’t know what to do with them when it finally does interact with one, and this is the same for your children as well.
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