Childhood is one of the most important stages in a child’s life for exploring the world and developing creativity. It is likely that for many of us, some of the happiest memories of childhood are when we were playing in the sandbox. This is not surprising, since it showed the benefits of children’s interaction with nature.
Although many parents are concerned about the hygiene and safety of children and allow them to play only at home or in specially equipped rooms, and not in open space, the reality is that this slightly limits their development. Some studies confirm that playing with mud is good for children. The author and journalist Richard Louv, who was responsible for a survey of about 3,000 families, concluded that many children do not currently play in open spaces, but spend all their time indoors. This is due to the inability to have access to playgrounds and the development of new technologies.
Playing with mud strengthens the immune system
Both Luv and pediatricians confirm the need for children to contact microorganisms found in the soil and grass to develop their immune system. Clearing dirt from children’s clothing can be a headache for parents, but this kind of unhygienic play is necessary.
Pediatrician Maria Julia Carvalho argues that contact with nature contributes to the development of the immune system in children, who subsequently can better overcome various diseases and not suffer from allergies. In addition, Luv adds that outdoor games can stimulate creativity, reduce stress, depression, and influence more cognitive development.
Contact with nature is required
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, it is noted: when a child grows up with pets, such as dogs or cats, he is less likely to suffer from allergies. This is because, from an early age, they coexist with various endotoxins, which are bacteria present in the dust of the environment. This “neighborhood” strengthens the child’s immune system.
The immune system is responsible for protecting people from external factors, such as microbes and bacteria, that threaten health. For the system to work properly, it is necessary to adapt to microorganisms coming from outside. As they grow older, children become more resistant to disease because they are exposed to them, and the body gathers experience and information to protect itself.
Finally, Richar Louv argues that the denial of the possibility of interaction of children with the outside world hinders the development of their creative abilities in the absence of physical stimuli and the impossibility of acquiring direct experience before certain circumstances.