Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

We've all grown up with germ-phobia. Just look at how many antibacterial products there are on the market. I would argue the phobia is strongest in new moms, who have a fragile baby's life in their hands.

Surprisingly, our worldwide paranoia may just be getting us into more trouble. Dr. Mary Ruebush argues that we have to let our own bodies develop strong immune systems, by letting them combat germs on their own.

So, for new moms and dads, this one's for you!

The Problem With Being Too Clean
Text by: Carren Jao

Parents, germs can be a good thing. That is the message Dr. Mary Ruebush has in her book, “Why Dirt Is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends.”

While it sounds illogical with all the fear of germs being peddled and antibacterial soaps, alcohols and gels being advertised on television, Ruebush says that over-sanitizing actually robs our children’s bodies of the chance to stretch their germ-killing muscles. “Your immune response is just another body part that needs exercise to become strong,” she writes in her book.

What’s more, research shows this lack of exposure to germs may even cause increased instances of asthma, allergies and other auto-immune diseases. In a study of children who live in households with pets, Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief of allergy and immunology at the Medical College of Georgia, found fewer allergies not just to animals, but even to grass and dust mites.

Ruebush has a few suggestions to keep develop our children’s immune systems. [Read more here]


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