NOW THAT'S FUNNY
New research published in the journal Pediatrics demonstrates that having a dog or cat around your baby can help keep the child healthier. The study, which focused on respiratory and ear infections, would seem to suggest that being around pets cut down on these childhood illnesses. Babies who lived with dogs were healthy 75% of the year, whereas babies who lived in homes without dogs were healthy just 65% of the year.
This is provided, however, that the dog does not smoke.
The study was done in Finland and surveyed 397 children living in rural and suburban environments. According to RTTNews, doctors think that the pets bring in all kinds of “good” germs, which helped children develop their immune systems more rapidly, making them more resistant to illness or facilitating a shorter duration of infection.
In other words, dirt and germs make your kids healthier. If that’s true, my upstairs bathroom is better than penicillin.
This news has made my day. First of all, I love dogs so I think anything that encourages people to become pet owners is terrific. But better than that, it suggests that dirt is good for your kids which means I won’t be mopping the kitchen floor today. I’ll probably skip it tomorrow, too, only because that’s how much I care about my children.
Imperfect Parent reports that kids exposed to germs at a young age become healthier adults. We parents aren’t doing them any favors by constantly slathering Purell all over their hands or keeping them out of social situations that may be “germy”. Who would have thought the best thing you could do to get your kid ready for school would be to take them to Liberty Science Center and have them do every hands-on exhibit there is. Make sure they rub their eyes and noses a lot in between.
On any given day our house is pretty messy, so I’m counting on my kids being super healthy this year. And now that dirt and bacteria have been shown to make children stronger, here are some other findings I hope to see in the news:
Yelling at your kids makes them better in school. I always feel bad for kids who get a teacher who yells—and we know they’re out there—when they’re not used to yelling at home. These kids have soft-spoken parents—the kind that express their “disappointment” when the kids are in trouble. But my kids are used to being yelled at, so it doesn’t faze them a bit and their school work never suffers.
Having a forgetful, disorganized mother improves a child’s social skills. I am constantly forgetting to sign permission slips, or to include $12 for the fundraising tee shirt, or to make sure the black socks are clean to go with the Marching Band uniform. This means my children have the valuable opportunity to think up explanations, scramble around for solutions, and forge ahead despite setbacks.
Eating dinner late cuts down on nighttime TV. I can have dinner on the table at 5:00 p.m. if I have to (for instance, if there is an activity or sport my child has to go to after dinner). But if there are no evening activities, well, let’s just say I go into relaxed mode. I sip wine, chat with my husband or, most ruinous of all, get on the phone with my sister. Next thing you know, it’s 8:45 and we’re just sitting down to a roast chicken. This means that by the time we’re done eating, it’s bedtime! The kids don’t have a chance to turn on American Idol or any other primetime show.
I like to keep a clean house, but I certainly wouldn’t want to do my children any disservice. So I think I’ll go read a book, and forget about that nasty stovetop.
Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Her book, “You Definitely Know You’re a Mom When …” is now available on Kindle. Follow her on twitter @plobley.