The Dangers of Raising Children in an Overly Sanitized Environment

When it comes to getting rid of germs and staying healthy, it’s vital to maintain a proper cleanliness because cleanliness is directly related to good hygiene. However, according to many recent studies, germs can actually protect against several diseases and that in fact our extremely clean lifestyle can cause health problems, especially for children who have a weakened immune system. If you are interested in learning more about this subject, read the article below.

Why the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’ is important

If you are not already familiar with the Hygiene Hypothesis, note that this line of thinking talks about children having a more risk of developing allergies and diseases if not exposed to germs, dirt earlier in life. There is a great amount of evidence that supports this theory. For example, children living on a farm that have one or two more siblings are much healthier and have a lower risk of allergies than children who live in a sanitized environment. Children have a weaker immune system than adults and in order to strengthen their immune system it’s advisable to let them interact with everyday germs and dirt so that the immune system regulates and adapts itself in time.

Careful with washing the child’s clothes

As a parent, you want to ensure that your child’s clothes are not a habitat for germs and it’s important to wash them regularly but some parents have a misconception of how many times the clothes of their children need to be washed so they wash them several times in a row, thinking that this way they will get rid of all bacteria present in their children’s clothes. Other parents take it to the next level and use a great amount of clothes sanitizers on the baby’s diapers, blankets and clothes. They argue that in this way the baby is protected against germs and bacteria but it’s exactly the opposite. At the slightest pollutant, the baby can develop allergies because they have a decreased sensitivity to common germs. It’s recommended to use a detergent specially designed for washing the clothes of babies and iron just a couple of clothing items, such as onesies or shirts, pants, etc.

Why hand washing dishes is better

Is your child developing allergies very often? According to the latest study conducted by a group of researchers in Sweden, allergies are correlated to using a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. The study surveyed 1,029 Swedish children and discovered that children who live in a family where washing dishes by hand is a regular habit have a lower chance of developing allergies than children living in families who use the dishwasher on a daily basis. Researchers believe that this is strongly related to the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis” mentioned earlier in this article. If you take a look at some dishwasher reviews on, you will see that most of the latest dishwasher units have certified sanitizing options. The real question is: do we need our dishes to be sanitized or do we just need them to be clean?. Are we depriving our children of good bacteria if we use the dishwasher? The study has concluded that children who hand-wash dishes are 40% less likely to develop allergies than children in families who use a dishwasher.