Do you have an obsession with cleanliness?
This obsession with cleanliness is so widespread we may have forgotten a simple truth our parents and grandparents believed and practiced. That is, as young children, we need to be exposed to the outside – dirt and all!
Did you know that many common childhood illnesses and disorders could be avoided if children were exposed early on to the microbes that can be found in healthy dirt? A young child’s immune system must be exposed to as many diverse microbes as possible in order to grow a healthy immune system.
Eating a range of vegetables and fruits grown organically in healthy soil in our own gardens or bought in our local markets can positively bolster a child’s immune system as well. This, along with spending as much time outside in nature as possible can actually give a child the resilience he or she needs to avoid typical chronic childhood illnesses such as asthma, behavior disorders, and allergies, among others.
Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist, has written a very interesting book titled, ‘ Healthy Food, Heathy Gut, Happy Child.’
Dr. Shetreat-Klein advocates a lifestyle centered around contact with the microbes present in soil. This theory includes eating food grown in healthy soil as well as providing adequate access to the outdoors, especially for our children. Dr. Shetreat-Klein believes this may be the answer to our children’s health problems.
She points out in her book how our obsession with
cleanliness (leading to the over-sanitization of our lives) deprives our guts
of the biodiversity found in healthy soil. This in turn makes us more
susceptible to conditions such as allergies. ‘When there are fewer organisms
and compounds in our gut, the immune system starts turning its attention to
attacking our food and the things it’s exposed to in the environment.’
Conscientious adults, especially parents, must also be aware of the hazardous chemicals they introduce into the indoor environment to keep the home and its contents clean, and be fully aware of the dangers of using them regularly.
Chemicals such as bleach, phthalates, triclosan, galaxolide, methylisothiazolinone, glutarel, among many others, as well as a number of artificial colors (such as D&C violet 2) have been proven to be hazardous to our health. It has actually been shown that children exposed to bleach have a 20% higher risk of coming down with the flu, not fewer infections!
If the answer to how to avoid many of the childhood conditions our children need not endure means sending our children outside as much as possible where there is fresh air and just plain dirt, who would disagree?
If feeding our family food grown in healthy dirt can help to bolster our immune systems, who would disagree?
If clearing the indoor environment of hazardous chemicals and replacing or avoiding them would have a positive effect on avoiding health problems, who would disagree?
Here are some steps to take:
On this website, we have posted several articles which may be helpful with ideas on how to clean with everyday household solutions such as hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda, etc. Please refer to General Cleaning, Do-It-Yourself, Green Cleaning.
Ken and Harriet Adams
Owners of ABC
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