This week we received a new book that might interest patrons with young children. As parents we often make every effort to protect our kids from dirt and germs. We scrub and sanitize everything they might touch and limit their exposure to anything or anyone we think might make them sick. The authors of the book Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for your Child’s Developing Immune System argue that our diligent attempts at cleanliness may not be in their best interests.
Jack Gilbert, Ph.D. and Rob Knight, Ph.D. are the cofounders of the Earth Microbiome Project. They define the microbiome as the combined activity of all the tiny organisms inside our bodies and the surrounding environment. They are two of the leading scientists studying this and what an enormous impact it has on our health. In this book they answer questions such as: Is it OK for my child to eat dirt? ; Are antibiotics necessary for all infections? ; Shouldn’t I be afraid of germs? ; Should I use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? ; Am I keeping my house too clean? These, and many others, are all questions that they have actually been asked by parents from all over the world. The answers are presented in a clear, easy to follow format.
While these authors have done a great deal of research and are considered experts in their field, it is important to remember that each child has unique needs and the child’s doctor or medical professional should be consulted about anything that could affect his or her health.