Dirt: It’s Good For You

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.

Grubby children

 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.

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3 thoughts on “Dirt: It’s Good For You

  1. I cannot bring myself to bathe my children every day and it seems like an addiction to some of my friends. Bathtime is great, both kids love it but it just seems like a lot of work and honestly a lot of water to be used when they don’t get THAT dirty during the day. (Actually my kids get way dirtier than most because they play out in the yard almost daily and we have a nice sandbox, etc.) If letting them play in dirt staves off illness and allergies, yay dirt!

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