I’m impressed – you are proactive! You are searching for ways to prevent allergies in your child. In the last five years, we have seen several studies come out. These studies show that the way we were taught to manage allergies in the 1980’s is exactly wrong! No wonder allergies, asthma, and bronchitis are at such high levels!
Timeline of how society dealt with allergies:
<1900 : The child needs more sun and a clean breeze. And for God’s sake, stop washing him. Don’t you know immersion in water is unnatural?
1900 – 1970 : He will get over it. Give him more. And if he doesn’t, then it must be the city air. Send him off to Grandpa’s farm.
1970 – 2012 : Scrub, scrub! Strip out all the carpets, swap out the dog for a lizard, and remove all nuts within a quarter-mile radius. HEPA filters in every room! Asthma rates skyrocket.
2012 – 2017 : Begin re-embracing the idea of a “dirty” environment. Widespread use of “allergy shots” where a doctor injects allergens into the body to reduce reactions.
What is an allergy?
Allergies are misguided immune system reactions to substances which are not harmful. It is an illogical response by the body. Allergy symptoms can range from a stuffy nose, to skin swelling and itchiness, to closed airways and even anaphylactic shock.
WARNING: ALLERGIES CAN BE DEADLY. ONCE YOU HAVE AN ALLERGY, DON’T TRY TO “FIX” IT WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION. THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES PREVENTION ONLY.
Several studies have found that early and constant exposure to a “dirty” environment actually helps prevent allergies. For example, growing up with a dog in the house, or living in a farm environment, greatly reduce the risk of developing allergies! On the topic of nut allergies; poorer segments of society who regularly eat peanut butter have much lower risk of nut allergies.
Do you see the trend? Lack of regular exposure to a substance causes the body to hyper-sensitize.
Things you can do with your baby that may help prevent allergies:
- Don’t over-sterilize the environment. Leave the carpets. Get a dog. Allow dirty coats and boots in the house.
- Don’t over-clean your baby. Yes of course, clean the poo, wipe the spit-up. But if your child plays with an animal or rolls in the grass, consider skipping the steam-clean for a while. If the clothes aren’t gross, consider re-using them for a few days.
- Get early (even while pregnant) and regular (weekly or daily) exposure to common food allergens, such as nuts, seafood, and fruit. Please be careful with this one – stop at the first indication of a food allergy and consult your doctor!!
Please share your experiences with allergies and your natural baby in the comments.