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.

  • There was an article recently about this professor who has linked childhood leukaemia with them not being exposed enough to germs I think it may be the same article in the paper.


  • My home is definitely not bacteria free. Its clean enough but not insane.


  • Clean but not fanatical and don’t use antibacterial or everywhere I think is the key.


  • So very true. I remind my husband all the time to ease up. Helps build their immunity


  • My kids, including hubby and I, only get the occasional cold and we have no allergies. I clean but no chemicals except the toilet and bathrooms. Benches and tables get wiped with a damp cloth and that’s it


  • I like to have a house clean and organized, but I am not a fan of antibacterial products at all.


  • I hate cleaning so my kids should be fine..lol


  • I’m not too crazy about excess cleaning- we have a clean house but don’t tend to go over the top. Only when the kids start getting a lot of colds in winter I’ll give the house a more thorough scrub.


  • There’s a difference between clean and sterile! On the flip side, someone I know has a filthy house and frequently has mice and pest issues including carpet beetles at one time. The children frequently have lice, worms, conjunctivitis or gastro. If you saw the house, you’d understand why.


  • I keep my home clean but not obesssed!

    • I am the same – clean the house – but not at all obsessed.


  • Not obsessed with cleaning and still….allergies! It would be interesting to read the study and not just the article in the Daily Mail.


  • No, personally I’m not obsessed with cleaning. I always say “dust is not dirt” and “a clean kitchen is a sign of a wasted life”


  • I keep my house very clean but don’t go over the top with antibacterial products.


  • Iam
    A bit of OCD when it comes to cleaning and my kids have no allergies at all


  • We deliberately don’t use anti bacterial products to clean.


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