A Dirty Kid is a Happy Kid! Why Everyone Should Play in the Dirt
Evelyn returns from preschool, clothes covered in dirt; from her grandmas house stained from head to toe; from an outing with a friend, hands so dirty she could write her name with the grime under her fingernails. Apologies ensue. “I’m sorry she got so dirty.” or “I would have washed her if I’d had the time.” or “She sat down right in the dirt before I could stop her.”
And always I reply, “A dirty kid is a happy kid! PLEASE don’t apologize.”
Kids should get dirty. We are a part of nature. It is harmful to remove ourselves from it.
Bacteria is NOT the Enemy – So Much For the Hygiene Hypothesis
Bacteria has a bad reputation. We tend to think that any and all of it will hurt us. Parents keep immaculate houses in attempt to eliminate the “threat” of bacteria, washing hands with anti-bacterial soap, mopping with disinfectants, cleaning the counters with bleach. All of this is not only unnecessary but harmful to the immune system. It’s surprising just how many benefits there are to getting dirty.
1. Mycobacterium vaccae improves mood
There are millions of organisms living in the dirt but one that has been researched for its health benefits is called Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae). This bacteria has been shown to allay depression.
It is not entirely clear why but researchers have found that contact with the bacteria releases cytokines which activate the nerves in our bodies to relay signals to the brain and release serotonin into the prefontal cortex – the part of the brain involved in mood regulation (exercise has been shown to have similar effects).
2. Mycobacterium vaccae is linked to higher IQ
This same release of serotonin that occurs when playing in M. vaccae laced dirt, has also been shown to improve cognitive function. The serotonin that is released while playing in the dirt temporarily boosts the IQ so that learning is facilitated. Maybe rather than making kids listen to Mozart before a test, we should send them out for recess.
3. Staphylococci heals wounds
Staphylococci often gets a bad rap but it has it’s benefits as well. Staphylococci can prevent inflammation. After an injury if staphylococci is present on the skin, the redness and swelling which often accompanies cuts and scrapes can be prevented. Forget the ointment, just use a good smearing of dirt before you bandage up!
4. Soil microbes boost the immune system
Playing in the dirt introduces the immune system to bacteria which it can then store in memory. The memory of the immune system is protects a growing body from getting sick later in life. A strong immune system also provides resistance to allergies. Getting outside more, rather than staying in more, might actually help reduce allergies.
5. Clay improves digestion
Dr. Weston A. Price noted in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that clay was “the treatment used by several primitive races for preventing and correcting serious disturbances in the digestive tract. This consisted in the use of clay or aluminum silicate which modern science has learned has the important quality of being able to adsorb and thus collect toxic substance and other products…”
1351Baby shower guest sign in ideas
2533Boy baby shower decorations ideas
1607Girl baby shower favors ideas
1791TOP 10 Girl baby shower themes ideas for 2017
600Baby shower fruit tray ideas
3923Baby shower snack ideas pinterest
1909Purchase The Special Twin Baby Shower Cakes From Your Local Stores
4319Baby shower afternoon tea ideas
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
2553TOP 10 Baby girl baby shower food ideas
218710 Useful Triplet baby shower ideas for you!
2463Baby shower ideas pinterest boy
554Welcoming a Baby Angel in Style with the Best Baby shower souvenir ideas
4315Baby shower centerpieces ideas pictures – 10 methods to brighten your baby shower party
2041Planning a Baby shower program ideas – detailed guide
23689It is Safe to Eat Raw Meat – A Guide to Choosing the Right Type
3165Baby shower charades ideas
4327Baby shower onesie ideas – 10 secrets to know
3775Cool ideas for baby showers
1831Baby shower food and drink ideas
3267Best ideas for baby shower
2845Cake for baby shower ideas
3911Unique ideas for a baby shower
2391613 Best electric motorcycle for kids in 2018
1096Brown and blue baby shower decorating ideas
6Baby shower ideas
23722Security Blankets and Other Comfort Objects
1769Baby shower ideas for baby girl
2541Cheap girl baby shower ideas
3079Sheet cake baby shower ideas
3339Pink and black zebra baby shower ideas
2067Cowboy baby shower decoration ideas
48Baby shower ideas for a boy
3827Baby shower programme ideas
3257Baby shower cake writing ideas
23732Exercise During Pregnancy