It’s called the Hygiene Hypothesis – the notion that the epidemic of allergies and asthma is the result of our modern fear of “germs.” That is, we are just a little too clean: we protect our children from everything; we don’t let them play in dirt like we did as kids; we sanitize them with hand sanitizers (“hanitizer” as my 4-year-old calls it) at every opportunity.
According to the Hygiene Hypothesis, allowing our children to get dirty is actually beneficial: getting dirty reduces the incidence of allergies and asthma.
Well, it’s no longer just hypothesis: clinical studies are proving it to be true. Here is a video on the topic:
News from the American Council on Science and Health.