Long-term studies have proven that when kids are exposed to cats and dogs during the first year of life, they have a 48% percent lower risk of having an allergy to those pets than kids without exposure.
In fact, prenatal exposure to dogs can reduce a kid’s chance of developing those allergies.
As it turns out, we’re keeping our kids too clean. The hygiene hypothesis says that the lack of early childhood exposure increases allergies by suppressing the development of a strong immune system.
Apparently, kids need to get dirty in order to exercise their body’s response to invaders. Erma Bombeck, American humorist, frequently said that homes should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy meaning that basic tidiness is important for health, but we shouldn’t focus on cleanliness at the expense of hanging out with our kids.
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