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» Bacteria and Keeping Kids Healthy

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People the world over seem to be arming themselves with alcohol gel, antibacterial soap and changing the way immune systems, and even nervous systems are developing. The change however, isn’t necessarily for the better.

Studies are beginning to show that completely sheltering your kids from bacteria and infections can actually make them more susceptible to some of them and additionally can actually cause the development of asthma and allergies.

Bacteria are vital to good health. Killing off the normal flora of the body does not assist us in fighting disease but rather, can actually cause it. Recent studies have shown that the more educated a parent is, the more likely their child is to develop asthma and allergies in part because of the parents concern about bacterial infections.

Dr Gerald Callahan, who studies bacteria at Colorado State University explains, "Before we knew the important role of infections, we were concerned about things like polio and rabies and yellow fever. Because of that when Fleming introduced Penicillin we went crazy with joy and began to slather everything with antibiotics. Now we are paying our dues for that over reaction."

New studies show that bacteria is an important part of our every day lives, but that does not mean hygiene is less important. Photo by pyza.
New studies show that bacteria is an important part of our every day lives, but that does not mean hygiene is less important. Photo by pyza.
Not long ago, all staph infection responded to methicillin, but within just a few decades, many infections are no longer reacting to this very powerful antibiotic, and many of its relatives. In effect, we are shooting ourselves in the foot by making some of our allies useless for us when we need them the most.

The best method of cleansing for our children is to put the antibacterial things by the wayside, and use plain mild soap and water to wash up, and to toss away the antibacterial sprays unless we are in the presence of something that consistently puts harmful bacteria in our way.

Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly; for instance try having them wash long enough to sing the ABCs. But toss away your antibacterial soaps and use plain mild hand soap. Teach your kids about preventing disease, by good hand washing, covering their mouth when they cough, not sharing drinks and so on, and leave the antibacterial soap for the surgeons.

Do you have other tips on how to teach kids good hygiene? If so, please leave your comments and help inform others too.

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