Last Sunday, we attended a birthday bring and share celebration. Miss E had lots of fun eating, dropping food on the ground(by accident) and then refinding it and eating it. After she had finished eating she pottered around in the garden, picking at the grass, digging in a bunch of stones and just being generally curious. later in the afternoon someone we didn’t know came and introduced himself to us. Mr P and I got talking to him and Miss E continued to potter about stepping on and off the decking where she had earlier been eating. It transpired this guy was a Dr in a hospital. We chatted some more and all of a sudden out of no where he yells, “NO!!” At the top of his voice. It terrified me, and I started looking round in a panic wondering what sort of emergency was taking place. “No!! We don’t eat that, it’s been on the ground, yuck yuck!!” I look down to find Miss E stood with a piece of her own tortilla chip that she had obviously dropped earlier on while eating. She was looking at this man like he had completely lost his mind, which, quite frankly, I do believe for a moment he had! From his reaction you would’ve thought she was about to chomp down on some cat poo or something else equally as horrid and hazardous to her health.
It totally bemused me. Here’s a newflash folks, getting dirty isn’t dangerous! Eating a tortilla chip that’s fallen on the ground not so long since isn’t going to kill you either! Everywhere we go these days there are dispensers for hand sanitiser, you can even buy bottles of the stuff to carry round with you in your bag just in case you need to fend off any terrifying germs. Cleaning product companies are always coming out with an even better formula to fight those germs that creep into our houses under the cover of darkness. I mean, just how on earth did our grandparents manage to survive as long as they did without all of these ways of fighting the germs?!
Folks, we need more dirt; we need more kids to pick things up off the floor and have a nibble, why?! Because their health depends on it. A child’s immune system needs to be kept active and well honed in order to be able to protect him/her from the real threats out there. When a child grows up in a super sanitised environment, their immune system becomes bored. There is nothing for it to process, and, a bit like an under stimulated child, it’s going to make its own fun. It picks on innate things and the body then becomes allergic to these things just because the immune system needs to have something to exercise with and keep active with. This may lead to asthma, pet allergies, food allergies etc.
Our homes and lives are too clean and this has an effect on our children. We have two dogs, two gerbils and now two fish, so Miss E spends her days petting these animals, lying on them(the dogs that is…don’t think the gerbils would appreciate it much), crawling in and out of the dog bed. When she’s outside, she’s free to pick up dirt and let it sift through her hands. She often needs a clean set of clothes after playing outside. And she is forever finding some bit of dropped food on the floor. And we don’t use any chemical based cleaning products. However, out of all her friends, she has to be the healthiest. Her friends suffer from various food allergies and eczema.
So just remember we need a little more dirt in our lives and can be a huge boost to our immune system 🙂