We’ve all had our share of bad habits growing up. Some of us bit our nails until they looked so fugly.
Others probably loved licking iron rods and window panes.
Then there were pacifiers – now that was one tough habit to break!
But if there was ever a bad habit, it had to be sucking thumbs. You know how frowned upon it is to be seen doing it, but as a kid it was the one thing that soothed the most, especially when sad or disappointed.
So, tell us, were you one of those kids who sucked their thumb? Don’t worry, we found out that it’s actually a good thing!
Here’s what you need to know.
Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded sometime last year that small kids who either sucked their thumb or even bit their nails had a heightened exposure to certain germs. This inadvertently strengthened their immune system. Allergy developments were reduced by as much as 1/3 compared to other kids.
Wah, so good. No need to fall sick so often BECAUSE you exposed yourself to germs when you were small. Now I can only hope I exposed myself to enough germs.
The research involved checking on parents and their kids who habitually practiced the two otherwise demonised boo-boos between the ages of 5-11 years. There was no association found with asthma and hay fever too.
Another recent study also showed that babies (in this case, infants) with moms who “cleaned” their pacifiers by sucking on them (sounds gross!) and getting them clean had a lesser likelihood on getting eczema and asthma.
Here’s another interesting fact – out of the 1,013 who participated in the study for thumb-suckers and nail-biters, a total of 317 kids practiced more than one oral habit. The protective aspect towards falling sick persisted until adulthood to 32 years of age.
Thumb-sucking and nail-biting are a huge no-no for most parents even till today. There are even studies going against the so-called bad habits. What’s funny though, is that there has been very limited research done on the long term habits and their effect on a person’s oral health.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s a good thing to let a kid follow his instinct and suck his thumb to soothe himself.
So now, if you’re a parent or going to be one, the ball is in your court. I mean, you can let your kid suck his thumb or bite his nails la. If one or another person is going to tell you that he’s wrong, show him this article.
You might be able to give your kids the boost their immune system badly needs, especially that the hazy season is coming now.
You don’t want to foot extra medical bills and shove more meds down your child’s throats now, do you?
Less stress, less fuss. That’s the only way to go.
So let the small ones suck their thumbs and bite away too!
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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