Say Yes to Dirt!

Filed Under (Home) by Laura Smith on 04-02-2009

Finally, I have found an article that confirms what I have said all along regarding allergies and diseases: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/health/27brod.html?_r=1&em

We are TOO CLEAN!  All this antibiotic, antiseptic, antibacterial nonsense is doing us more harm than good!  Our bodies NEED to be exposed to viruses, germs, and bacteria so that we can build resistance to them.  But there are so many people out there telling us to wash, wash, wash; boil, avoid, sanitize!  I personally, think it has become a little crazy.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my former boss actually told me to avoid eating peanut butter while pregnant because the baby might become allergic.  Well, guess what I craved?  I couldn’t stomach lunchmeat, so I had a PB&J almost every day for lunch.  My doctor told me that was ridiculous- he said, “You drink water- is the baby going to be allergic to water?”  Yes, a simplistic argument, but he made his point.  Then, after she was born, everyone said, “Make people wash their hands before they touch her!  Don’t let other kids touch her!  Don’t take her out of the house until she’s 6 weeks old!”  RIDICULOUS!  I was encouraged, by all well meaning friends and relatives, to wash her clothes separately in special detergent, and boil her baby bottles, and boil water for her bottles, and boil any toys that fell on the floor, and wipe other toys with sanitizing wipes, and for gosh sake keep her away from other babies and kids.  Meh.  I basically ignored all that.  I used (gasp!) tap water to make her bottles, and let her crawl around on the ground, and took no special measures when it came to cleaning her toys or washing her clothes.  And the same goes for my second child as well.  And you know what?  May God bless them, they are two of the most healthy kids I know.  They both had some mild “allergy-type” issues when they were little- they both had reflux and were on Soy formula for a few months, but they grew out of it.

Now, what would I have done if they had major allergies?  I guess I would have different opinions, but as far as our experience goes, their exposure to everyday germs and possible allergens has made them healthier.  I think we need to rethink as a society our need for “extreme clean.”  I think a little dirt just might make us all a little healthier.

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