Dirt is Okay!

Image Credit: Flickr user plasticrevolver, via CC

Remember how us parents are always fussing about keeping our kids clean. Well this might shock you!

Everybody believes that washing hands are a good way to keep away from the germs and bacteria. Recently we chanced upon a report from National Wildlife Federation, that outlined how being too clean stops from being helpful, and a little bit of dirt works better for your child’s health.


The Federation has started a new campaign that says that kids should be out there. Getting outdoor does help children. Playing in the puddles making mud pies is, in fact, required for their healthy development and their immune system.

Think how cool our parents were, they insisted on basic hygiene but when did they stop up from playing out? In fact, that is the only thing we could do. No laptops or tablets were around and playing in the mud bare-feet was very common. We grew up strong.

But today we are living in the world of over sanitization.

We are depriving our children of the healthy bacteria that is a must for them to be fit and joyful. According to Dr. Mary Ruebush, immunologist, “If the kids are too clean they are not doing their job”.

Technological advancements have enabled us to keep the kids entertained but at a cost. Our kids now are low on Vitamin D levels and obese. Children who were kept very clean and away from bacteria, virus and parasites have higher risks of developing allergies and asthma. Dr. Joel Weinstock, director of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, believes that “Children raised in an ultra-clean environment are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.”

Less dirt, less immunity.

And finally let me get you in a dirty little secret: Being in dirt is too much fun for kids, and it makes them mighty happy. And we know happy kids learn better, do better at school and everything else.

A little bit of dirt and skipping washing of hands once in a while might not be so bad, after all.

[ Citation: National Wildlife Federation’s “The Dirt on Dirt – How getting dirty outdoors benefits kids” ]

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