Extra-Hygiene Causes Growth of Allergies

Sep 10, 2007

Next time you try to keep your child away from playing in dirt, think twice: aren't you obsessed with hygiene? The latest research from the University of Michigan Health System, suggests that our super-clean policy to prevent infections is actually bad for children, causing considerable increase in allergies.

Marc McMorris, a pediatric allergist, explains that though a cleaner lifestyle with vaccinations, the use of anti-bacterial soaps and air-tight devices create an environment that is germ-free, it all may contribute to the development of allergies, especially in children.

Our immune system works to fight the infections. Keeping our bodies from bacterial and viral agents, as a result of cleaner lifestyle, results in more allergies. Allergy is a body reaction to foreign substances and when we are less exposed to bacteria and viruses, our body develops allergic reaction.

Home environment has also changed into more germ-free, having more air-tight doors and windows, which made our home even more allergenic. the study also shows that families with one child are more susceptible to allergies than larger families with two or three children. This is due to the fact that children, who come in contact with each other, are more exposed to bacteria and viruses, thus having less allergies.

But does it mean we should not care about hygiene?

Dr. McMorris says that parents should use common sense while keeping the house clean. The overuse of antibacterial agents and furnace filters can actually have a bad effect. He also recommends all parents finding a balance when trying to keep children away from germs. you do not need to isolate children from contacts with others and it won't harm them if you allow kids play with dirt.

Healthy Life Spot