Dirt Is Good

When I was a kid in the 1950s our parents loved us just as much as parents loved their children today. But they were content for us to go outside and play in the muck, to climb trees and hillsides, to go to the stores on main street alone clutching our pocket money. We learned how to take care of ourselves and we caught everything going from colds to infections to whatever. And we survived into a healthy adulthood.

Not so today. Now kids have to be protected from everything. For years I have been saying that the current trend to over-protect children from daily life is to condemn them to die in their 40s or so due to a failure of immunity or a lack of hard-won common sense. The rise in “dangerous” allergies from peanuts et al is surely no coincidence.

But maybe we can turn things around with articles such as “It’s good to get your hands dirty” in the Washington Post today.

Now scientists are beginning to think there could be medical and educational reasons for parents and teachers to encourage kids to play in dirt.

Sounds right to me.


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