Is staying home harming your child’s immune system by making them more susceptible to other diseases? – Health News , Firstpost

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The coronavirus pandemic has come with a few silver linings. The clear winner for me has been the delightful dearth of snot: My kids haven’t had a cold since March, and neither have I, and I haven’t missed those crusty red noses one little bit.Yet I know it can be good for kids to encounter bacteria and viruses, because microbial exposure shapes the development of the immune system. This is one of the reasons we have vaccines — when we inject our bodies with little bits of pathogens, or dead ones, they learn how to better recognize and fight these same (live) pathogens down the line.Exposure to a wide variety of microbes early in childhood also trains kids’ immune systems to recognize what’s dangerous and what’s not. Parents are now told to feed their babies allergens like peanut butter and eggs earlier rather than later in infancy, because doing so teaches baby’s immune system, little by little, that these foods are safe.And according to the hygiene hypothesis — a controversial theory first proposed in 1989 by an English scientist, David P. Strachan — as kids in developed countries have grown up with more bleach and disinfectant …

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