I've recently heard about the "hygiene hypothesis" regarding germs and kids. People say you shouldn't keep your house too clean because some germs are good for kids. What's the deal?
The hygiene hypothesis suggests that being too clean and not being exposed to germs and allergens early in life can cause problems with allergies later. Whether or not this theory regarding germs and kids is true, your house does not need to be spotless or sterile. That's not to say that you should throw all cleaning caution to the wind—it's still important to avoid germs to stay healthy.
Here are some tips to help focus your hygiene efforts:
- Make your kitchen and bathrooms a priority. Germs that can make you sick are most commonly found on kitchen sinks and counters, in bathtubs and in toilets.
- Get a handle on the handles. Since cold germs can live on surfaces for up to two days, be sure to sanitize any objects that are handled frequently, such as doorknobs, refrigerator or microwave handles, and telephones.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash hands before eating, after going to the bathroom, after playing outside or whenever they're visibly dirty.