Parenting 000: Germs Aren’t Always Bad

Several articles have popped up in the news about children and germs.  Studies have been made of the health of children living in rural areas (farms, ranches, etc.) and urban children (city kids).  Many studies show that children born into families with pets have fewer allergies.  Children raised in rural areas are healthier than those in urban areas.

The point in all this is that children need to develop a natural immune system.  If they are constantly being “sanitized” their bodies never get a chance to naturally fight off germs.  That’s not to say children should not wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom.  Proper hygiene should always be a part of the learning process especially when taught by example.

A friend of mine who has been a pediatrician for over 20 years told me that parents need to “lighten up” on the hand sanitizer – we’ve gone a little overboard on it.

There are, of course, exceptions.  My son says his body is a germ playground and he rarely is sick.  Then there is the poor child whose parent wipes down everything the child come in contact with before they touch it.  We need a middle ground.  Germs aren’t always bad!

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