Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy

We live in an ever-more-sterile world that is paradoxically becoming less and less safe and healthy as we try to make it more and more safe and healthy. You may be shaking your head at the first sentence and you might be wondering what we are talking about. Trust us, we have a point, and that point is backed with expert opinions from people who know about hygiene, medicine and child-rearing.

In the last half a century, we have seen a bonafide explosion of chemical industry and everything that is associated with it.(Read research on :Hand Sanitizer... Friend or Foe? ) To get one thing out of the way first, we are not paranoid and we do not think that the chemical industry wants to take over the world. However, it is important to understand that the ultimate goal of every industry is to make money and this can sometimes lead to fears and panic that are unwarranted.

For instance, take a look at all of the germicidal and anti-bacterial products that are permeating the media, being shoved down your throat and making you feel like you are not protecting your family enough if you do not sterilize the entire kitchen and bathroom. However, when you think about it rationally, you realize that all those people in the past who lived without these products survived perfectly and did not die at the age of 20 because of a few bacteria on the kitchen counter.

Of course, there are things that you need to do, we are not saying that you should do away with cleaning your house altogether. It is important to keep the bathroom clean, to avoid bringing in feces on your shoes and to ensure that there is no mold or spoiled food in places where you or your child can come into contact with it. You should learn about cleaning your home properly from various sources like websites and guides on cleaning. What you do not need to do is sterilize the entire house, put air-tight seals on your windows and doors. If anything else, this will make your children less safe.

And this is where we come to the most important point in our story – the children are becoming weaker and less healthy because we try to keep them away from all bacteria and outside influences. The human body and the human immune system needs to be exposed to outside influences as this is the way in which it builds its strength. The staggering increase in number of people with allergies is directly associated with less and less time spent outside and in, let's be honest about this – dirt.

In addition to actually being healthy for children, spending time outside, in dirt, getting in contact with grass, animals, plants and other things that we had been in contact with for millennia without dying out, will make them happier. Children understand better than anyone the bond with nature, with the outside world, with stuff other than squeaky clean and absolutely sterile counters and white surfaces.

Find that balance – clean for health but do not over-clean for health and happiness.