Asian parents often believe that cleanliness makes a healthy child. But from a medical standpoint, it has been proven that a little bit of dirt and nature can help boost Your Child’s immunity.
Most parents are hyper-responsive when it comes to cleanliness – they won’t allow their children to touch dirty or grimy objects or even suck their fingers. However, many children come with the desire to explore. So it is natural for a child to put random objects in their mouths, hug pillows or pets and enjoy playing in the dirt.
A little germ is good
You may think that keeping a spotless, germ-free home will benefit Your Child. However, doctors and developmental specialists advise parents to expose their children to certain types of bacteria and germs in the environment to build better immunity against common illnesses such as asthma, stomach upsets, and allergies.
How much is being too clean?
Children who aren’t exposed to many germs will grow up to have weaker immune systems. Therefore, shielding Your Child from germs can be harmful in the long run. Ideally, you should allow your little one to play outside often, touch family pets and crawl on the grass. There is also no need to overuse antibacterial cleaning products, hand sanitizers, or wet wipes inside the house – your home is not a hospital!
Developing a strong immune system
When Your Child was still inside the womb, your little one was protected from illnesses by your immune system. However, all babies will need to develop their own immunities after birth since each child’s immune system will differ and adapt to their surrounding environments. Therefore, all children, especially those weaned off of breastmilk, should get dirty from time to time. All they need afterward is a thorough hand wash and rinse upon returning home. You don’t need to spend excessive energy trying to kill all of the germs inside your living room!
How can exposing children to germs be beneficial?
The first stages of Your Child’s life are most important for immunity development. Children who are exposed to different types of bacteria can withstand more diseases in the future. So be sure to take Your Child to different places such as the playground, park, mall, and even on public transportation after 3 months.
Living without antibacterial wipes
Children who grow up in rural or remote areas have strong immune systems because they are exposed to several different types of bacteria daily. These children have a lesser chance of developing asthma as adults compared to city-raised kids. Compartmentalized households and the lack of outdoor space in the city are one of the reasons why big-city kids have weaker immune systems.
Therefore, don’t forget to schedule some outside time for Your Child to explore, work on some developmental skills and boost that immunity!
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (31 March 2021)