As Nancy Shute explains in her article for NPR.com, scientists may now understand why a little dirt early in life is a good thing.
Researchers at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston published their results in science.com:
They found that microbes in the gut keep a rare part of the immune system reined in. No microbes, and the immune cells go crazy in the lungs and intestines, increasing the risk of asthma and colitis. Add in the microbes, and cells in question, invariant natural killer T cells, retreat.
So, Helicopter Parents, step awaaaaaay from the Purell.
But the most exciting revelation from the study – perhaps due to the journalist’s gender bias??? – appears buried at the end of Ms. Shute’s article:
Can I get a Yea-men on that?
So, all kidding aside, parents, will you let your toddlers get dirtier?
Photo by: stevendepolo