We all know that modern hygiene and sanitation standards have reduced the presence of many diseases and other health concerns. But now we are starting to see evidence that we have swung a bit too far in one direction and need to come back to center. Does this mean we should all live in filth? Not quite, but a little dirt doesn’t hurt. In fact, it helps.
Did you know that people who garden statistically live longer than those who don’t? This can be attributed to things like lower stress levels and those who are interested in gardening also being attracted to other healthy habits. However, simply getting a bit dirty also places a role.
And this means that we all need to relax and let the kids get a little dirty. Modern children live in sterile worlds where they are always washing up with antibacterial soap, use antibacterial gel in their classrooms, and even breathe filtered air at home. With the rise of crafting sterile worlds for children, we have also seen a rise in allergies, autoimmune problems, and GI tract illnesses in children.
Is this correlation or causation? We don’t know with certainty just yet, but research is pointing in the direction of causation, at least in part. So if you are wanting to protect your child against developing these problems, it is best to go against your instinct and let them get a bit dirty. What are some ways to do this?
As noted above, gardening is great for your health in more ways than one, so get to it.
Yes, your dog might be onto something here. Give it a try!
Go on hikes, try climbing, and just get your hands dirty.
Yes, you will need to clean it all up later, but it is worth it.
And make a dirt box instead. It is cheaper and honestly more fun.
While it is a good idea to keep washing hands and being clean most of the time, the idea is to embrace a little dirt in your life for the health and happiness of your child.