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Exposure to germs and dirt in the first year of life can help a child be healthier, says a new study.
This study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Most parents are constantly trying to help their child avoid germs. According to Tech Times, exposing children to germs and allergens at a young age will make them less likely to have allergies, asthma and wheezing later on in life.
A study before this showed that infants raised on farms were more likely to be healthier due to their exposure to germs, dirt, bugs, etc. The latest study shows that this is true, but the earlier the exposure, the better.
The findings, according to HealthDay, supports the hypothesis that says that children in overly clean homes are more likely to suffer from allergies.
If an infant is exposed to an allergen after age one it is possible that they will have a strong reaction because their bodies have not built up protection to said allergen.
"Our study shows that the timing of initial exposure may be critical," said Robert Wood, study author. "What this tells us is that not only are many of our immune responses shaped in the first year of life, but also that certain bacteria and allergens play an important role in stimulating and training the immune system to behave a certain way."
In the study, infants without allergens present in their homes had three times the rate of wheezing as children with allergens present.
Wood cautions that these findings still need further verification. Parents shouldn’t go out and adopt a pet, but don’t feel the need to get rid of your pet either.