I have talked about this before. Germs are not only not bad, they are necessary for children. Without them, we don’t mount an immune response and end up with all kinds of problems as adults. I thought of this today as I read an article by Art Caplan, Ph.D. called In praise of germs: Why common bugs are necessary for kids. In it, Caplan adjudicates everything I believe about childhood cleanliness and the need to let your kids get sick, including, “The study strongly supports a growing body of evidence that you need to put away the disinfectant and expose children to the real world of germs and microbes.”
I also thought about an idiot named Heather who once posted on her Facebook wall, “If your kids are sick, please keep them home!” News flash, Heather: you are not only selfish, you are ironically making life worse for your own children as well as others. If you can’t take care of a sick kid or you can’t stand the thought of your little one running a fever, you really have no business raising a child in the first place.
Hey, I know you’re afraid. The media is constantly telling you to be afraid. A few people a year die from flesh-eating staph. A few children a year end up with autism because of a vaccination. It’s scary! (Never mind that about 16,000 children die every day from starvation and malnutrition.) Be afraid! Sanitize everything! Live in a plastic bubble! Raise a generation of fat, asthmatic, iPhone-twiddling wieners. See if I care.