Gothenberg, Sweden – Researchers from the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital are suggesting that families with children should adopt the habit of washing dishes by hands. The research team, led by Bill Hesselmar, has found out that households with excessive cleanliness expose their children to developing an increased risk of allergies. This is because they as are not exposed to microbes and bacteria, their immune systems fail to adapt to the bacteria and this later cause allergies.
Scientists hence suggest that children who grow up on farms are less likely to have common allergies, including eczema, asthma and hay fever.
A group of Swedish researchers supported the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ saying that household with excessive cleanliness are more likely to have children suffering from allergies. The theory, in fact, suggests that the allergy epidemic threatening the world is caused by this need for excessive cleanliness. Hence, scientists suggested that it is a good idea that children are exposed to some germs from early childhood. This helps their immune system stimulate and reduce the risk of potential development of an allergy.
The study findings have been revealed as part of a group of researchers that evaluated the lifestyles of several households. They found that children who are fed in hand-washed dishes, grow up on farms, or have pets around at early ages, are less prone to allergic reactions. It also concluded that “traditional cooking,” that involves food and milk obtained directly from the farm helps in strengthening the immune system of children against common allergies.
The study involves a survey sheet filled in by the parents of as many as 1,029 children aging between 7 and eight years. It found that 38% and 7.3% of children fed in sterile dishes washed in a dishwasher had eczema or asthma, respectively. In contrast, the eczema and asthma cases were reported respectively in 23% and 1.7% of those children who were fed in hand-washed dishes. For hay fever, the figures were respectively 12.9% and 10.3%.
The study authors concluded by saying, “Even though we do not currently have strong support for recommending any of these lifestyle factors in allergy prevention, they are already commonly used and most often regarded as harmless.”