Americans have become phobic about germs. We’ve been urged to wash our hands dozens of times a day to avoid catching colds or the flu. Antibacterial gels, sprays and wipes are promoted to reduce exposure to bacteria and viruses.
Benefits of Bacterial Exposure:
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests, however, that children may benefit from early exposure to certain bacteria. The study compared children growing up on a farm to those who have no exposure to farm animals. Children who lived on farms were less likely to have asthma or eczema.
The more types of microbes kids were exposed to, the less likely they were to have asthma. Early exposure to a broader range of germs seems to explain why youngsters are less likely to develop breathing problems later in life.