By Julie Tomascik

Squeaky clean and always sick.

You’re armed with an arsenal of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. On a mission to protect your kids from a world full of germs.

But have they had their daily dose of dirt? It just might be what the doctor ordered, according to the latest in the hygiene hypothesis. Where less exposure to germs leads to a greater risk of allergies and asthma.

No one wants that.

But there’s an easy fix.

Visit a farm. Feed the cows. Get your hands dirty. And take a deep breath of fresh air.

It’s the farm effect. Working with livestock, stirring up the dust and drinking from the water hose. It exposes farm kids to good bacteria. Building up their immune systems. And lessening their chances for getting sick.

But one dose won’t do the trick. Exposure to germs at a young age, and often, is why this works.

That means the old adage “a little dirt don’t hurt” has some science to back it up. And healthy farm kids are the proof.

So swap screen time for farm time. And mingle with the good “bugs.”


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