Researchers argue that the rise in infectious disease means that hygiene is becoming more, rather than less, important, but there is value in letting children spend more time outdoors in the natural environment to help restore the microbiome. Photo: Winson Wong

Should kids play in dirt and puddles? Gut health improves, research suggests, but allergy link not clear

  • Many parents – especially in Hong Kong – fear their children will become ill if they get wet or dirty
  • But advocates of “messy play” say beneficial exposure to microbes develops gut health and can even boost creativity and reduce stress
Topic |   Health and wellness

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Researchers argue that the rise in infectious disease means that hygiene is becoming more, rather than less, important, but there is value in letting children spend more time outdoors in the natural environment to help restore the microbiome. Photo: Winson Wong
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