Let Them Eat Dirt (Or at Least Play in It).

‘Early exposure to their environment full of germs, bacteria and viruses is not a bad thing,’ Angela Mattke, M.D., tells the paper. Dr. Mattke, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Centre in Rochester, notes that parents “are very concerned, almost preoccupied, with their child touching a surface that is not clean.

” But it turns out that early exposure to the dirtier stuff in life — things like “bacteria and other microbes” — can actually be “crucial to our health.”

That’s because “beneficial microbiota helps build immunity in babies and children, and has a role in preventing allergies, asthma, obesity and other noninfectious conditions,” according to the paper.

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