|By: Ayaz Malik|
We do keep one strict eye that our children definitely do not get near any dirt or anything ‘germy’. It makes sense, they might fall ill. But think again. Keeping the little ones too sterilised might weaken their immune system – making them prone to catching any disease on the slightest of exposure.
Yes, with the COVID situation around we have to be careful. The preventive measures for the COVID are already well known to everyone. but, when we are at home these days and the children indulge in some activity that relates to dirt or mud, may be entirely harmless. On the contrary, the microbes present in the outdoors would surely help strengthen your child’s immunity to various diseases. This is not coming just off the cuff. Scientifically, the same has been proven. The reference for this is easily available in the form of a book both in paper and e-formats (take your pick from these because it is not available as an audio book). The read is a simple q&a and is authored by renowned scientists Jack Gilbert.PHD and Rob Knight.PHD. For reference, if you need more information on the details of what micro biomes are you can visit Microbiome Centre at the University of Chicago website where Dr. Gilbert is a director.
Even if we use our common sense and think as a concerned parent the idea may not seem too bad. A good analogy is that of any sporting activity. Children do face minor accidents there. If outdoors, they may get bruised, where indoor games are concerned they may face muscle stretching or tearing. Don’t these make them only stronger. They definitely make the child stronger once they are healed. Ever heard your child brag about how they got hurt during some activity and healed? That’s the sense of confidence that has been built in your child from that experience. Next time, they are careful not to get hurt and are prepared for any likely contingency. Similarly, when exposed to -not very harmful germs – their immunity towards several illnesses increase.
So, you’re still not convinced. Well, try looking up ‘hygiene hypothesis’ and you will get a pleasant surprise. To sum it all up the hypothesis states that a severity in a lot of cases where some diseases are concerned is due to the fact that a child may be over clean. And over clean is not a typo here.
Although, we all have our own personal opinions and ways off addressing the situations we live in, at this moment in time we won’t say that you crowd your child up or do not keep them clean. In the same breath, we will say not to restrain them from the healthy muddy or dirt activity at home or at a clean place where they can or surely are safe but may easily have access to healthy bacteria.
Let them get the feel and let them grow up with some healthy germs for a stronger and vigourous future.