Parenting | Family

Let Your Kids Get Dirty If You Want To Keep Them Healthy

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Do you remember sterilizing countless bottles, toys, pacifiers and washer your kids hands every time they touched something in public? As it turns out all the cleaning could be wreaking havoc on your child's immune system, according to a University of Chicago scientist.

By cleaning and sterilizing everything your child comes into contact with, can unintentionally cause future allergies, asthma and eczema argues researcher Jack Gilbert.

Gilbert studies microbial ecosystems at the University of Chicago is and the co-author of a new book called Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System.

By sheltering little ones from beneficial bacteria in the environment it can cause our immune systems to become hyper-sensitized, Gilbert said in an interview.

"You have these little soldier cells in your body called neutrophils, and when they spend too long going around looking for something to do, they become grumpy and proinflammatory," Gilbert explained. "When they finally see something that's foreign, like a piece of pollen, they become explosively inflammatory. They go crazy. That's what triggers asthma and eczema and often times, food allergies."

Find out on the next page what you should do instead to protect your children from getting sick.

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