Exposing children to dirt is a great way to strengthen their immune system. Say goodbye to those hand sanitizers!
Jack Gilbert, a scientist at the University of Chicago, argues that over-sterilizing a child’s environment may actually weaken their immune system.
In an over-sterilized setting, Gilbert states that “their immune systems then become hyper-sensitized. You have these little soldier cells in your body called neutrophils, and when they spend too long going around looking for something to do, they become grumpy and pro-inflammatory. And so when they finally see something that's foreign, like a piece of pollen, they become explosively inflammatory. They go crazy. That's what triggers asthma and eczema and often times, food allergies.”
We have to remember to think twice before making our child’s environment as “clean” as possible. We might be removing the things that will actually protect our children when we sterilize their surroundings.