Sunday, March 23, 2008


If you ever watch a child throughout an entire day its amazing how much germs they come in contact with and put in their mouth. Its surprising it doesn't harm them. Most children, when they come home from playing outside, they never wash their hands. Unless their mother trained them real well. Most children, will just go straight to eating their snack or food.

The kids I babysit for have this rule in their house, that as soon as they come home they have to go to the bathroom and then wash up. They also take off their socks or tights so that they shouldn't slip on the floor. Everyone has different rules when it comes to this. Most people I know of where their shoes till they go to bed. Some will change to slippers. But people always have something on their feet. I think I once heard that your not supposed to go around the house without shoes cause then its like your mourning.

When I was in shul, even though I wasn't babysitting anyone, I still notice these children and watch out for them. I've seen a lot of kids lick metal chairs. Now that must have a lot of germs on it. Yet the mothers see the kids doing this and they don't stop them, so I figure its a normal thing. One kid was moving a chair, and she had her hand between two chairs, it looked like she was going to smash her hand, that it will get caught between the 2 chairs, so I tapped the mother, and showed her what her kid was doing. Then she said Thanx, but not to worry, her daughter always gets her hand stuck in things, she closed the door on it a few times.

Anyways, when I think of germs, I think of it as bad, that I would want to avoid it at all times. I keep a hand sanitizer on me all the time, encase I want to eat something, or if I'm coming off the city bus. Imagine how many germs come from there, its like a factory of germs. People sneeze, wipe their nose on their hands and then hold the bars, its just gross.

Then I was thinking about it. I realized it might not be so bad for these children to come into contact with germs. Think of a playgroup, all the kids sharing the same toys. Germs for them can be good, because then they can become immune to it. In order for germs not to harm them when their older, they first need a dose of it when their younger.


  1. Babysitter,

    Your observation is consistent with that found in the scientific literature. Zhang et al, in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
    Volume 16 Issue 7 Page 587-592, November 2005, note "households with high cleanliness scores appeared to have significantly higher prevalence of current wheezing (p < 0.05) and current rhino-conjunctivitis (p < 0.05) in children. The association remained even after controlling for confounders such as age and gender of children, asthma history of parents, passive smoking and dampness at home."

    So Zhang is saying that if the house is cleaner, the kids are more likely to be sick, irrespective of other factors. Apparently, a little filth is not all bad.

  2. Interesting...
    thanx for doing the research for me.

  3. true that. i used to practically eat dirt when i was little, and i can count on my hands, the number of times i was sick in elementary school and high school

    but e/t got messed up when i went to israel

  4. Germs make up our world; they're not just a bunch of diseases. Read this book:
    Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World

  5. you think kids you babysit don't wash hands go walk around in schools you'll see plenty kids open a snack as soon as they come out off their school bus without washing their house


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