Let Your Kids Eat Mud & Play In The Dirt. Here’s Why Germs Are Good

Let Your Kids Eat Mud & Play In The Dirt. Here's Why Germs Are Good

3 years ago

~2.1 mins read
I was once on a vacation in Goa with a friend who had a 2-year-old daughter. We were at a restaurant that was outdoors on the beach. The baby was making sand castles as we were seated at the table eating. Then, suddenly, she puts a fistful of sand into her mouth! She makes a face and immediately sticks her tongue out, so that the sand comes out of her mouth. 

I immediately jumped and panicked. My friend was unfazed. She calmly told me that a little bit of dirt won’t kill her baby.
In fact, she said that a bit of grit and grime is good for children; it boosts their immune system.

At the other end of that spectrum is another friend of mine. She has sanitised everything her child could possibly touch. Nobody is allowed into the child’s room without taking off their shoes and sanitising their hands first. 

Believe it or not, the child from scenario one is growing up strong and hardy, while the latter is constantly sniffling and is quite sickly. Why is that?

Germs can be good for you
Science has a convincing case for germs being good for youngsters as they keep their immune systems robust. Speaking to a leading international publication, Professor Gilbert, co-author of the book Dirt is Good and director of the Microbiome Centre at the University of Chicago says, “Most parents think all germs are bad, that is not true. Most will just stimulate your immune system and make you stronger.”

Most modern middle class homes are kept very clean and hygienic.
It is not necessary to be extra vigilant about dirt and germs. Add to that the fact that we’re all vaccinated (I hope you are!) against the most common life-threatening ailments and we don’t have much to worry about. 

Many people give away their pets when they get pregnant out of fear of infection or allergies. But, the opposite is actually true. Children who are around animals have a stronger immune system and are less likely to develop allergies later on in life. Early exposure to germs and pathogens keeps their immune system in a robust state. So, don’t fret when the dog licks the baby’s face.
It’s all good. 

Professor Gilbert does add, “Obviously raw meat should be treated carefully. But in a home where no-one is presently sick, there is virtually no risk to children's health. Indeed, if it were not so unpalatable, poop is generally harmless. Thanks to vaccination and general sanitation, our homes are extremely safe.”

The conclusion? Let your kids play in the mud, get their hands dirty, and eat things off the floor of your house. It won’t kill them. And in this case, the saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” is actually true.

By Laetitia Bruce Warjri

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Deatheater (Basic)   Yesterday
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