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Exposure to Germs May Actually Be A Good Thing for Your Kids

Getty Images, photo by Carston Koall

Seems hard to believe but according to a Northwestern University research study, exposure to germs in early life can be good children. Exposure to germs can help protect kids later in life from chronic diseases like diabetes and dementia when they’re older.  Doing a study of children living a less sanitary life, like Ecuador and the Philippines, it was found those children had better immunity from disease.

A protein found in the body, CRP, has been linked to heart disease when the levels are too high. In the United States one in three have an elevated level of CRP but those living in a dirtier environment had almost none. The theory is the exposure to germs helps the body build a stronger immune system to help fight disease. The study also found babies in households with pets have fewer allergies at age 6 or 7, not just to animals, but ragweed, grass and dust mites. Studies show if you over sanitize you could be hurting your kids rather than helping them.  Anything more than basic hygiene like washing hands isn’t really necessary.

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