Children’s Dirty Habits That Can Actually Make Them Healthier

Parents may become horrified when they see their kids getting exposed to dirt. Children enjoy getting dirty while their moms and dads fear that they would be exposed to bacteria, and it will ultimately lead to sickness. Experts believe, however, that some of kids' dirty habits can actually make them healthier.

New studies found that diverse microbes in a child's gut protect them against an array of serious medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity, and even helps them attain healthy brain development, Time reports. One of kids' dirty habits that promote good gut-health is getting dirty while in nature such as walking barefoot and touching dirt, mud, trees, and insects, among others.

According to a 2015 study from The Wall Street Journal (published in Science Translational Medicine), the body's microbe community is less established and stable during the first few months of a person's life. When a person gets exposed to bacteria early on, his/her immune system changes, multiplies, and trains itself to fight harmful intruders and ultimately, diseases.

After playing outdoors, it's enough for children to wash their hands, arms, and feet with antibacterial soap to get rid of all that microbe exposure. Parents shouldn't teach their kids to use hand sanitizer right after they get dirty. Allow them to stay dirty during the course of the playtime and just clean themselves afterward when it's time to eat or come inside the house.

Grown-ups believe that animals are another source of dirt. According to experts, nonetheless, it's safe for children to play or interact with dogs and let their pets lick them. Of course, adult supervision is still required all throughout, also ensuring the dogs have good health and regular visits to the veterinarian.

Studies found that allowing dogs to lick kids or be close to them lowers the youngsters' allergies and asthma risks. It also serves as an act of companionship and protection and teaches children to be comfortable around animals.

Parents should control themselves around giving antibiotics to children. Yes, antibiotics prevent bacterial infections and save plenty of lives. But during that process, both good and bad bacteria die, which can upset the gut's microbe composition. Antibiotics should be used appropriately and only when the infection is serious.

Fermented foods also help children's guts build a healthier microbe composition. The majority of microbes live in the large intestine and many foods get absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.

Fermented foods and those high in fiber reach further down the gut. The best fermented foods are yogurt, natto, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, tempeh, and lassi, the Global Healing Center listed.

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