Should We Let Our Kids Play In Dirt?
Dirt. Grime. Mud. Those very words evoke thoughts of pestilence and sickness, which is why we often obsessively clean our houses to get rid of dirt. We sweep it off our porches, mop it up from the floors, and wash it off in the shower. So when parents see their children outside, digging through the dirt and examining all of the strange creatures that they can find, the immediate reaction is to stop them. However, the reality is that a bit of dirt probably isn’t going to hurt them. In fact, it may even be beneficial.
Take a moment to stop and really think about this. Dirt isn’t radioactive sludge. It was around long before humans even existed on this planet. It’s almost an irresistible impulse to reach down into the dirt, grab a handful, and smell the earthy aroma. So should we let our kids play in dirt? Take a look at our reasons below.
According to an article issued by Discover Magazine, research found that the bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae (found in soil) triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, relieving symptoms of both sadness and depression. The positive impact of this type of play also increases exponentially when you think about the fact that outdoor play also improves self-confidence, develops muscle strength and coordination and develops creativity.
Parents may worry about illnesses, but some research indicates that bacteria may actually be beneficial to the developing immune system. An article in The Scientist relates research that seems to support the idea that exposure to microbes in early life can stave off diseases such as ulcerative colitis and asthma. There are other bodies of evidence that also support the idea that dirt may be good for your kids.
To a large extent, our new cleanliness obsessed culture is doing a disservice to public health. By letting your kids play in dirt, you may be doing them a favor both for their mental and physical well-being.
Dirt is natural, just like Real Purity’s products – and both can have positive impacts on your kids’ environments. Why not try out items like our SLS-free Wild Mint Toothpaste, our non-irritating Baby Shampoo or our talc-free Baby Powder? Shop these items or any others now in our Bath & Body or Family categories.