Are you one of those parents who gets paranoid when your child plays in the mud and dirt? Or do you wonder how leaving all the neat and clean play areas, your child gets attracted to the piece of dirt in the corner of the house? Here is a lemon cooler for you. Recent researches have found that playing in mud and harmless worms improve the immune system of your child.

Original article is here :  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/health/27brod.ht ml?em

Some nice quotes:

“Children raised in an ultraclean environment,” he added, “are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.”

“There are very few diseases that people get from worms,” he said. “Humans have adapted to the presence of most of them.”

In answer to the question, “Are we too clean?” Dr. Elliott said: “Dirtiness comes with a price. But cleanliness comes with a price, too. We’re not proposing a return to the germ-filled environment of the 1850s. But if we properly understand how organisms in the environment protect us, maybe we can give a vaccine or mimic their effects with some innocuous stimulus.”

“I certainly recommend washing your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after changing a diaper, before and after handling food,” and whenever they’re visibly soiled, she wrote. When no running water is available and cleaning hands is essential, she suggests an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Dr. Weinstock goes even further. “Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,” he said. He and Dr. Elliott pointed out that children who grow up on farms and are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms from farm animals are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases.

So relax and let your child enjoy its favorite game!

Jaya.

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