Health & Nutrition Health and Nutrition - February - Page 93

L et germs be your kiddo’s new companion. Sounds weird? While most parents will reminisce the childhood they spent playing in the rain or sunshine outside their homes, it’s becoming a rarity among children these days. In this techno-savvy world, kids are more likely to devote their school vacations spending hours on YouTube rather than making mud pies. By keeping a distance from Mother Nature and trying not to get dirty, your tiny munchkins may just be missing out on more than just creating memories… Moreover, parents, these days, dislike kids getting muddy, as they worry that children may fall prey to the infections they might pick up while they play. But parents need to understand that it’s recommended for children to play outdoors, bask in the sun, run in the sand and directly come in contact with nature. When you let your child get dirty, you make his/ her immune system stronger and help them better deal with health issues later in life. Below mentioned are things parents should allow their kids to do in order to give them a healthy exposure to dirt and germs. 1 Move outdoors: Let your growing child step out of the house and get in close contact with the environment. Allow your babies to enjoy putting their hands and feet in water, dig in the dirt, play in the mud, pick up worms from ponds, roll on the ground, catch frogs and tadpoles. 2 Let them play in the sand: Playing in the sand helps pacify and calm down a child. It also helps stimulate imagination and creativity and acts as a wonderful medium of art. What’s more, outdoors also give kids a little dose of the required vitamin D which helps prevent autoimmune illnesses. 3 Allow them to play with pets: A significant part of exposing your child to the beneficial microbes is to get them in touch with pets like dogs and cats. Letting your dog/ cat come in close contact with your child has a great possibility of reducing his or her danger of contracting unwanted pet- related allergies in later life. 4 Don’t overdo the laundry: Germs thrive easily on apparels and excessive laundry will do nothing but kill them, thus doing no good to the burgeoning immune system of the baby. Sometimes, it’s advisable for parents to lend clothes a couple of good wears prior to laundry. part of t n a ic if n ig A s ur child to o y g in s o p ex s ial microbe c fi e n e b e th m in touch e th t e g to is ke dogs li ts e p h it w etting your L . ts a c d n a me in close o c t a c / g o d h your child it w t c ta n o c t possibility a e r g a s a h his or her of reducing ontracting danger of c et-related unwanted p later life. allergies in 5 Ditch anti-bacterial sanitizers and soaps: By continuously using antiseptic hand sanitizers and soaps, we are unintentionally constraining immune development in kids. It’s advisable to stick to the good old soap and water and evade the practice of unnecessary hand washing. 6 Go gardening with your child: This is the simplest way to let your child get close to dirt. The presence of various environmental organisms will offer the immune system all that it needs to operate efficiently. DR CHAITALI LADDAD Founder & Director, The Pediatric Network HEALTH & NUTRITION February 2018 93