Are you a Dettol-wielding cleaning fanatic? You may be doing more harm than good when it comes to your kids.
Walk into a school today and you’d be hard pressed to find a class where there wasn’t at least one child with an allergy of some kind. The number of children with allergies has risen 50% since 1997 The Daily Mail reports, and while it could be the result of improved testing and awareness, scientists believe there might be another cause.
A Bit Of A Mystery
Allergies are thought to come about a result of the way a person’s immune system develops. They are, at a basic level, an immunological mistake. The body misidentifies harmless substances as dangerous pathogens, prompting a reaction which can range from a runny nose and mild rash to severe anaphylaxis. One hypothesis for the recent increase in the number of children with allergies was the advice given to parents in the early 2000s. They were told to keep their children away from a variety of common allergens until they reached certain developmental stages, but it turns out exposure at an early age can help the body get used to them.
Created Our Own Problem
The trend towards having a bacteria free, microbe free, sterile home has been identified by scientists as the prime suspect in the case against some allergies. In our attempt to protect our children from anything that could potentially make them sick, we may have done the opposite, promoting hypersensitivity and autoimmune disorders.
Researchers are quick to point out that hyper-cleanliness is not the sole cause of allergies, but it looks like things might be taking a turn. Less cleaning? Any excuse.
Do you think we’ve become a cleaning obsessed? Let us know in the comments.