Let your kids get dirty

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - DR CHAITALI LADDAD Founder & Di­rec­tor, The Pe­di­atric Net­work

Let germs be your kiddo’s new com­pan­ion. Sounds weird? While most par­ents will rem­i­nisce the child­hood they spent play­ing in the rain or sun­shine out­side their homes, it’s be­com­ing a rar­ity among chil­dren th­ese days. In this techno-savvy world, kids are more likely to de­vote their school va­ca­tions spend­ing hours on YouTube rather than mak­ing mud pies. By keep­ing a dis­tance from Mother Na­ture and try­ing not to get dirty, your tiny munchkins may just be miss­ing out on more than just cre­at­ing mem­o­ries… More­over, par­ents, th­ese days, dis­like kids get­ting muddy, as they worry that chil­dren may fall prey to the in­fec­tions they might pick up while they play. But par­ents need to un­der­stand that it’s rec­om­mended for chil­dren to play out­doors, bask in the sun, run in the sand and di­rectly come in con­tact with na­ture. When you let your child get dirty, you make his/ her im­mune sys­tem stronger and help them bet­ter deal with health is­sues later in life. Be­low men­tioned are things par­ents should al­low their kids to do in or­der to give them a healthy ex­po­sure to dirt and germs.

Move out­doors: Let your grow­ing child step out of the house and get in close con­tact with the en­vi­ron­ment. Al­low your ba­bies to en­joy putting their hands and feet in wa­ter, dig in the dirt, play in the mud, pick up worms from ponds, roll on the ground, catch frogs and tad­poles.

Let them play in the sand: Play­ing in the sand helps pacify and calm down a child. It also helps stim­u­late imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­ity and acts as a won­der­ful medium of art. What’s more, out­doors also give kids a lit­tle dose of the re­quired vi­ta­min D which helps pre­vent au­toim­mune ill­nesses.

Al­low them to play with pets: A sig­nif­i­cant part of ex­pos­ing your child to the ben­e­fi­cial mi­crobes is to get them in touch with pets like dogs and cats. Let­ting your dog/ cat come in close con­tact with your child has a great pos­si­bil­ity of re­duc­ing his or her danger of con­tract­ing un­wanted pe­tre­lated al­ler­gies in later life.

Don’t overdo the laun­dry: Germs thrive eas­ily on ap­par­els and ex­ces­sive laun­dry will do noth­ing but kill them, thus do­ing no good to the bur­geon­ing im­mune sys­tem of the baby. Some­times, it’s ad­vis­able for par­ents to lend clothes a cou­ple of good wears prior to laun­dry. Ditch anti-bac­te­rial san­i­tiz­ers and soaps: By con­tin­u­ously us­ing an­ti­sep­tic hand san­i­tiz­ers and soaps, we are un­in­ten­tion­ally con­strain­ing im­mune de­vel­op­ment in kids. It’s ad­vis­able to stick to the good old soap and wa­ter and evade the prac­tice of un­nec­es­sary hand wash­ing. Go gar­den­ing with your child: This is the sim­plest way to let your child get close to dirt. The pres­ence of var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­isms will of­fer the im­mune sys­tem all that it needs to op­er­ate ef­fi­ciently.

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