Monday for Moms: Not All Germs Are Bad

Are you a germ-a-Phoebe?  Try thinking about germs in a new light!  Not all germs are bad.  In fact germs can actually help strengthen the immune system.  I believe exposure to a variety of germs is good for people of all ages, including infants (with the exception of immune-compromised individuals).  It’s amazing to me how paranoid and scared our society is today of germs!  I see hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere I go and  Anti-bacterial EVERYTHING in stores.  There are many women out there who wouldn’t think of leaving their house without Purell in their purse!  What ever happened to the days of running around outside, playing in the mud and getting dirty!  A little dirt won’t harm.  And when it was time to get cleaned up it was with some old fashioned soap and water.  There wasn’t anti-bacterial hand soap, anti-bacterial body wash, anti-bacterial lotion, anti-bacterial spray, etc.  When I was a child, and when my parents were children it was different.  Kids got dirty and that was ok.  My teachers didn’t have hand sanitizer in every classroom.  But is all of this over-cleanliness and fear of germs getting us anywhere?  Are kids healthier now than 10, 20, 30 years ago?  The answer is No!  Kids are more sickly now than ever.   My mom and mother-in-law both work in schools and both tell me all the time about how many kids  who carry inhaler’s to school or have to leave the classroom daily to take their medicine.  Is our current germ-a-phobic, over cleanliness obsession getting us anywhere? 

So why is it that kids are so sick?  I think it is because of several reasons, but today the focus is germs, or lack there of!  I believe germs are good as long as you are healthy.  If you are a healthy person your body will fight off most germs it comes in contact with and as a result your immune system will toughen up each time. 

Also, think about this…When a room full of healthy children are exposed to one coughing, sneezing, sniffling classmate, does the entire room get sick?  No, usually just a few may catch the cold.  Why is that?  When a  health child with a robust immune system is exposed to a germ they are able to fight it off with ease.  However when a child with a weak, fragile, overly-protected immune system is exposed it can’t handle the germ and the the child will become sick. Check out this great article on Building a Strong and Healthy Immune System.

I am not the mom who washes every toy after it touches the ground.  I don’t wash my hands before each time I pick up my baby.  I don’t worry when he touches the floor then puts his hands in his mouth and he doesn’t have a bath every single day.  I think my lack of obsessive cleanliness contributes to the health of my son.  While he is only 6.5 months, he has yet to catch a cold and I hope this streak continues for years to come!


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    kayla said,

    Thats good to know because with the birth defect our son has im freaking out about it, i have like ocd with people washing there hands changing there clothes and a clean house.

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