As a new mother, I do look to the internet as a source of information for parenting. I view other blogs and websites for any information that may be helpful in raising a healthy child. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I take any advice with a grain of salt. Any new studies that come out, I withhold judgement until more information can be provided (https://tinyyetmighty.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/dont-blame-the-boob-tube/).
But, I’ve been finding lately that with more information comes more hysteria. There seems to be more “helicoptering” over our children. Yes, you want to be protective and vigilant. But, this overprotectiveness may be doing more harm than good.
I’ve gotten some flack from other parents because I don’t bleach my home, don’t get the flu shot, and don’t use hand sanitizers.
Too bad. It worked for me. It will work for my son.
I have a bit of a biology background. I know that there are many nasty bugs out there that will do nasty things to you if you’re not careful. I also know how these bugs work. Flu shots and hand sanitizers actually make them stronger. They come back bigger and nastier. Multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus anyone?
Having said that, I want my baby to get sick. When he got his first cold, I was happy. This sounds very strange and sadistic. Hear me out.
Think of your body as a really hip and happening night club. Your immune system is the security. That cold virus is the under-ager trying to get in with fake ID.
One night, cold virus gets into the club (your body may tired and therefore more susceptible to illness) and starts stirring up s**t. Security is called. After a brief struggle (ie. you being sick), that virus gets tossed. But, security had enough sense to take buddy’s ID. So, if that virus is stupid enough to come back, security will recognize him and beat his ass.
Your body will fight off germs if it recognizes them. But to recognize them, your body has had to have met them before. Ergo, you have to be sick. Think of illnesses as a workout for your immune system. Just like exercise, the earlier the exposure, the better. I had measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough out of the way by the time I was six. I’ve rarely had a cold since then.
When my son had his cold, he had the sniffles and a cough. I upped his veggies and gave him plenty of boob juice. Luckily he didn’t develop a fever and was fine within a week. There was no need to take him to ER, like so many paranoid parents, and clog up the waiting room.
I’m reminded of a South Park episode where one of the kids develops chicken pox. Since it’s “better” to have the illness when you’re young and not when you’re an adult (all sorts of icky complications can occur), all the parents then deliberately get their children sick with chicken pox. But, that’s a little extreme. Funny, but extreme.
I guess what I’m saying is that children don’t have to be in a sterile bubble. They shouldn’t play in a cesspool either. But, no need to go banzai with the disinfectant. Health doesn’t come from maniacal sanitization. Children will get into everything and put all sorts of things into their mouths. But whatever doesn’t kill them, will make them stronger.