I love the feeling of vindication by research.
From the Guardian:
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California found that being too clean could impair the skin’s ability to heal. The San Diego-based team discovered that normal bacteria that live on the skin trigger a pathway that helps prevent inflammation when we get hurt… according to research published in the online edition of Nature Medicine.
It not only confirms what many people have been saying for years, it gives weight to much older, more laissez-faire methods of parenting which saw cleanliness as an occasional, rather than constant, priority. As a playworker, this is definitely something that I’ll be using when talking to parents who are deeply concerned about their little darling’s explorations of mud and dirt.
As an American, I’ll admit I’m also pleased that there are concrete suggestions on why we seem to be leading the world in complaing about allergies – I’d rather that be an inheritance of previously leading the world on dirt-based paranoia, rather just than a tendency to whine.