Sunday, October 19, 2014

Get Dirty and Stay Healthy


One of my theories always a bit controversial in the family and among some of my knowledge is letting kids getting dirty is actually good for them and now it is also corroborated by researchers. In fact, more and more widespread and credible is the evidence to the effect that eating a little bit of soil or dirt is good.


After some studies of what is called the hygiene theory, the researchers came to the conclusion that millions of bodies such as bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter our body from the land can favour the development of a healthy immune system. According to studies some public health measures, such as decontamination of water and clean food, certainly saved the lives of countless children, but at the same time abolished the exposure to many organisms that almost certainly could have benefited us and deplores the craze today to use hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may facilitate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause diseases.

Some ongoing studies confirm that even the worms can help an inefficient immune system which resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma - to get back to work properly. These studies seem to explain why immune system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, disorders of the colon, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the developing world. Children raised in an ultra-clean and aseptic environment are not exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate control circuits of the immune system.

A child who put objects in their mouths allows their body to explore the environment with an immune response. Not only does this allows it to train the immune response necessary to protect themselves, but plays a crucial role in teaching to the immature immune response what is best ignored.

Continuously keeping the kids clean, in a sterile environment and too much attention to cleanliness, may actually be harmful to their health. A clean environment in fact, does not allow the immune system to develop properly and thus exposes the child to the risk of allergies, asthma, and many other disorders of the immune system.

This is not to say that it is wrong to wash the children’s hands before sitting down to eat. I just want to point out that disinfecting everything and getting excited at the slightest pretext at the beach while the kid plays with sand or in the garden may not be necessary.

I understand that the first instinct of a mother's care for their children is to keep them away from danger and diseases. Once I saw my aunt was a bit agitated about the germs and bacteria with which my cousin sister could come in contact with. I recall with dismay an incident that occurred during the first trip by train with my sister. Suddenly she licked the glass window of the train.

And my aunt almost screamed, Oh my God! How many germs has my daughter licked? What will be the next? But nothing, nothing happened. In fact maybe it served to ensure that her immune system comes into contact and encodes some more seed to be ready in case of further meetings with germs.

I think nowadays overuse of antibacterial products, which give security hygiene, in the end are harmful and may even encourage the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In my humble opinion, soap and water is more than enough for the health of children. Any other disinfectant is not only useless, but also harmful.

And moms just have to try to control and resist the urge to disinfect, where merely washing with plain water can do, additive disinfectants should not be used. Soap and water are the only things needed for cleaning. It is always good to use running water but if is not available, it is essential to wash our hands, with hand wipes soaked in alcohol after using the bathroom, before eating, after changing diapers, and before handling food whenever they are visibly soiled.

We should let the kids run barefoot and play in the gardens, and they are obliged to wash their hands before sitting down to eat. After all, many researches points out those children who grow up in the countryside and are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms transmitted from animals are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Equally beneficial is to let the children grow up with dogs or cats at home, which expose them to infestation of intestinal worms that can cause them to develop a healthy immune system. Not to mention the dirty children are happier because they are freer to explore the world around them which they like a lot. So while you can combine business with pleasure they can have fun and get stronger.

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