If you stop your children from getting dirty you could actually be harming their immune systems.
Another study has linked children who spent lots of time playing outside in dirty conditions with lower levels of asthma and other allergies.
A 2007 study showed that a specific soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, causes a release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.
Only in the last 20 years or so have children’s free times been spent mostly indoors, and in a sedentary way.
Children throughout history have been known for having a love of all things outdoors, climbing trees, making mud pies and swimming in the sea.
But a fear exists nowadays especially among parents of the perceived and unknown dangers of the world. Many parents don’t let their children play out due to fears over kidnap, the dangers of the modern world, speeding cars.
And to help with this, the rise of video games in the power they have over children has added to their incentive to stay indoors.
Where once you would see a street of children playing on a hot summers day, now they are more likely to be in their bedrooms with the curtains closed.
This way of life for children however, has had a negative effect on their health. More children than ever are developing allergies at an early, including many severe food allergies that simply didn’t exist 50 years ago.
Graham Rook, a professor of medical microbiology at University College London says that we need exposure to our ‘old friends,’ the microbes that we were in contact with during early hunter-gatherer times when our immune systems were evolving.
Our “old friends” are thought to be “friendly” microbes that we encounter in our daily lives, not infectious pathogens.
“If your child has been out in the garden and comes in with slightly grubby hands, I, personally, would let them come in and munch a sandwich without washing.”
Mounting evidence has pointed the finger at the under-exposure of children to the outdoors, that they are not becoming properly desensitized to things that they once would have been.
The study also found that mice who lived in sterile environments developed asthma, a common condition among children.
The study supports the theory that our immune systems are ‘trained’ during our childhoods, and we need to be exposed to the natural elements of the world in order to protect ourselves against them.
A child who has been kept indoors all their life has little protection against potential threats later in life.
Via Think About Now