The habits that drive you crazy might actually be good for your children. Here’s why you should hold off on yanking their thumbs out of their mouths.
All that time you spent pulling your kid’s thumbs out of their mouths and painting their nails to stop the biting might be in vain.
Researchers at the New Zealand Dunedin School of Medicine have come to a different conclusion about the gross things kids do. While the researches didn’t make any claims to encourage these gross behaviors, their findings did conclude that there is a silver lining.
Early exposure to dirt or germs reduces the risk of developing allergies for young children. So while thumb sucking might be yucky, it also might be helpful later on. Researchers followed children with thumb sucking and nail biting habits, testing them for allergies throughout their lives and found that of children with both habits, only 31% had allergies.
Not only were there lower rates of allergies, but there were also no signs of asthma or hay fever for the kids who kept their fingers in their mouths.
The researchers were not able to sufficiently explain the correlation, but it looks like there’s some more work to be done, studying these childhood habits that we call gross.
For now, though, next time your kid sticks their fingers in their pie hole, maybe let them have their fun.