Why Dirty Kids Are Healthy Kids

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As hard as it may be for many parents to believe, but playing with dirt might be just what your kid needs. Granted, we don’t like dirty kids but letting them be kids is not just good for their development but it is also necessary for their immune system. In recent years, a lot of people have gone way too far with antibacterial soaps and such. Unfortunately, these antibacterial products are not only full of chemicals but they are killing the ability of our immune system to fight illnesses. Germs play a very important  role in strengthening the body’s defense system.

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Why Dirty Kids are Healthy Kids

According to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), bacteria and other germs are  “a necessary part of a healthy immune system” and exposure to germs in childhood will help build immunity to different microbes in adulthood. According to statistics, children who grow up on farms and are exposed to bugs, worms and dirt have exhibited less allergies and auto-immune problems.  It has been proven that the human body maintains health due to the presence of trillions of different microbes that balance each other.  Our obsessiveness with sanitation has perhaps ushered in a plethora of modern health issues (such as asthma and allergies).

Dirt helps strengthen the immune system.

Kids’ immune systems need to be trained in order to fully develop the ability to fight off illness and disease. Underexposure to dirt creates a lazy immune system which has no real power to fight off infection and instead develops allergic reactions to everything foreign.

One popular study, called the Hygiene Hypothesis stated that the millions of bacteria, viruses, and bugs that kids come in contact with are important for the development of their immune system.  Early exposure to these pathogens is very vital in preventing auto-immune disorders and allergies. Unfortunately, in our technological generation, kids are cooped up inside (which leads to an array of health problems). And kids are just not as happy as they used to be. Do you remember that great feeling that came from playing with dirt when you were child? It just brought happiness!

Dirt is also good for the brain.

A 2010 study conducted by Sage College in Troy, New York, discovered that a bacterium naturally found in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, can speed up learning and brighten moods by stimulating neuron growth and raising serotonin levels.

Maybe this is the reason why kids are constantly drawn to dirt? No matter what you tell them, they will always find dirt to play with. They are naturally drawn to it… they love it.  Next time, let your child play with dirt. Dirt washes off easily enough and most of all helps your child build a much stronger immune system!

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