Is There Such a Thing as Too Clean?

It may go against what many parents tell their children, but there is evidence that getting dirty actually helps kids stay healthy. At least that’s what an article on NPR’s health blog states. Trying to raise children in overly sterile conditions may actually do more harm than good because our immune systems need to experience microbial insults in order to develop properly. It is these challenges that allow our bodies to develop natural immunity. Our immune cells need to learn through experience to make distinctions between what is healthy to have inside of our bodies and what warrants bringing the troops in for an attack. The ability to make this distinction comes mostly from experiencing a wide array of situations, foods, and even bacteria and viruses. If we limit what  our body experiences then it may begin to label harmless things as dangerous and studies show that this phenomenon may be responsible for the increasing prevalence of auto-immune disorders, allergies, and asthma.

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