Are Your Kids Too Clean? Germs vs. Playing Outside by Rain or Shine Mamma
In modern society, cleanliness is often prized as the road to health and killing germs indiscriminately has become a national sport. No doubt, better sanitation and personal hygiene have curbed many outbreaks of infectious disease. But could there be too much of a good thing? Researchers believe that by letting our children grow up in sterile bubbles we are creating epidemics of asthma and allergies instead. Turns out that in our quest to wipe out germs we are also taking out the bacteria that help keep our children’s immune systems strong and their bodies healthy. Why it’s time to realize that a little bit of dirt could actually be good for you. That’s right – ditch the chlorine, the anti-bacterial cleaning products, and let your kids go play outside in the mud.
ABOUT LINDA: Linda McGurk is a writer and photographer who grew up in Scandinavia, where people live by the mantra “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes,” and spending time in nature is a national obsession. She believes that the best childhood memories are created outside, while jumping in rain puddles, roaming through the woods, digging in dirt, catching frogs and climbing trees. Now a US citizen who lives in the rural Midwest with her husband and two young daughters, she blogs about restoring the connection between children and nature at Rain or Shine Mamma (www.rainorshinemamma.com), and hopes to inspire other parents to get outside with their children every day, regardless of the weather. Her writings about conservation, organic farming, sustainable living, forest schools, and children’s health, have appeared in a wide range of newspapers and magazines in North America as well as Scandinavia. Though she makes a living glued to a screen the better part of the day, it is when she goes for a walk in the woods that she feels truly alive.
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