Let germs be your kiddo’s new companion. Sounds weird? While most parents will reminisce about their childhood, they spent playing in the rain or sunshine outside their homes, it’s definitely a rarity to see children do the same now.
Dr. Chaitali Laddad, Founder & Director of The Pediatric Network discussed and shared her expert take on kid’s health with Brainfeed.
In this techno-savvy world, kids are more likely to devote their school vacations spending hours on YouTube rather than making mud pies. By keeping a distance from Mother Nature, your tiny tots may just be missing out on more than just creating memories.
Moreover, parents these days dislike kids getting muddy, worried that children may fall prey to the infections they might pick up while they play. The idea is to inspire parents to ease up on cleanliness and hygiene. It’s recommended for children to stay outdoors more, basking in the sun, playing with the sand and directly coming in contact with nature. Of course, allowing your kids to get dirty does not at all mean that parents should be abandoning all forms of hygiene. It is still important to ensure that the kids wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the washroom or while they interact directly with someone down with a cold.
Instead, ‘letting your child get dirty’ focuses on the existing total hatred for dirt which is playing mayhem with our kid’s health and fitness. It may actually be related to the increase in non-infectious diseases such as allergies, asthma autoimmune diseases, and even perhaps obesity and coeliac ailments.
Whenever a child’s immune system come across a new harmless microbe, it acquires the skill of ignoring it or if not to tolerate it. And if developing children are only exposed to such harmless microorganisms, their immune system will continue to be immature. Below mentioned are things that parents should allow their kids to do in order to get a healthy exposure to dirt and germs.
Move Outdoors: Let your growing child step out of the house and get in close contact with the environment. Allow your babies to enjoy putting their hands and feet in the water, dig in the dirt, play in the mud, pick up worms from ponds, roll on the ground, catch frogs and tadpoles. This natural behaviour trait is likely to meet more bacteria and consequently train their immune system to respond to it accordingly.
Get the good bugs: The continuous use of various sterilising and antiseptic products is averting the appropriate development of healthy gut bacteria and that reinstating these useful bacteria could be the key to enhancing immune function. So the major question is where can kids get these healthy bacteria to take advantage from? The major means of getting indoors outdoors is to allow your baby to get in contact with Soil-Based Organisms (SBOs) which contain strong beneficial bacterial strains that can endure through the digestive system offering the most benefit to augment immunity.
Let them play in the sand: Playing in the sand helps to ease, pacify and calm down. It also helps to stimulate imagination and creativity and acts as a wonderful medium of art. What’s more, outdoors also lend kids a little dose of the required vitamin D which facilitate in preventing autoimmune illnesses. Sand comprises of a gamut of minerals and other compounds that aid to lift your immune system and free your body of hazardous toxins. For example, sand has an amazing property to cuts and wounds faster and can even avert a runny nose.
Allow them to play with pets: A significant part of exposing your child to the beneficial microbes is to get them in touch with pets like dogs and cats. Letting your dog/cat come in close contact with the child has a great possibility to reduce his or her danger of contracting various unwanted childhood allergies, asthma and obesity in later life. This offers an added advantage of offering companionship and protection for your kid.
Your child should learn to taste things: Even though your normal response may be to cover the patch of muddy grass, cluster of mud, or take away the somewhat stained snowball from your child’s discovering hands, you must battle the urge to do so! The same goes for your tendency to bother on your child licking on the handles of the grocery shopping cart, or random windows and chew on the car’s seatbelts. You need to allow your baby to try a bit of touching and even tasting the natural world around them. Infections like catching a common cold or a cough are usually produced by worms that encroach into the nose, throat, ears or sinuses. The pathogen voyages either from hand to mouth and nose or through the air on tiny droplets transporting infested emissions from one person to another. Catching a cold can really be helpful as it lingers to train the baby’s immune system to be well adjusted and capable enough to recognize and deal with pathogens. It is significant to identify this and respect the body’s own capability to heal diseases. In case you child falls ill and immediately gets over it within a few days, this is nothing but the sign of a robust immune system. This clearly signifies that your child’s defenses are sturdy and the immune system is functioning in an apt and well-organized manner.
Don’t Do too much of Laundry Loads: It is commonly said that without exposing your child to muck and germs right from the initial phase of their life, the child’s immune system will fail to learn the technique of controlling its response to daily invaders such as dirt and pollens. Microbes, filth and germs have a great tendency to thrive on clothing. Parents often have the habit of doing a daily laundry for your child’s unclean clothing’s. Germs thrive easily on apparels and excessive laundries will nothing but kill them, thus doing no good to the burgeoning immune system of the baby. Sometimes it’s advisable for parents to lend clothes a couple of good wears prior to laundry. Most of the time, it’s completely fine for toddlers to smell just a little bit like… toddlers often do.
Ditch Antibacterial sanitizers and Soaps: By continuously using antiseptic hand sanitizers and soaps we are not only unintentionally constraining immune development in kid’s but are also leading to growing microbial resistance to pharmacological and natural antibiotics in some germs. Certain chemicals in the sanitizers may also affect the hormonal balance in the children. Your child does not need to carry the sanitizer to school or everywhere he goes. It’s advisable to stick to the good old soap and water and evade the practice of unnecessary hand washing.
Consuming Fermented Edibles: The massive majority of the germs in the gut are very far down, in the large intestine. They require food to get to them. Intake of simple white flour, white sugar and refined edibles won’t reach the bacteria, as it gets effortlessly absorbed higher up, in the abdomen and small intestine. Edibles that are high in fiber, nuts, legumes and vegetables are faultless microbe foods, being broken down by them in the large intestine. It’s time you bring on more microbes to your child’s gut by offering them fermented edibles often, such as yogurt.
Gardening with your child: This is the simplest way to let your child get close to dirt. Garden with your little toddlers and you can lend them a dirt plot of their own. Moreover, planting will acquaint them with various types of soil condition, bugs, insects and microbes. Moreover, the presence of various environmental organisms will offer the immune system with all that it needs to operate efficiently and properly modulating the body’s provocative response, thus helping to fight various hazardous infections.
While the above-mentioned list of ways to get your munchkins filthy is by no means comprehensive, positively it gets you more receptive about revealing your children to the pathogenic organisms present in nature. This may be certainly one of the best favours you can do for your little ones, and you’ll perhaps be giving them a benefit later on in life, particularly as opposed to kids who grew up in a bubble. And who knows? Dirt may benefit your own immune system, and you have one less motive to be grossed out when next time your toddler coughs at the table, sneezes in your face or tracks a trail of dirt into the house!