We awoke this morning to the most ridiculous news story I have heard in a little while. Well, since poor ol' Kochie stuck his foot in it with breastfeeding mums - I plan to post about that soon. Today it was childcare centres and germs.
Apparently some researchers have put out a report suggesting that children (even those who are healthy) should not blow out candles if they're sharing the cake with others at the childcare centre. Really? Really???? This is what we're putting money into researching these days? There isn't anything more pressing that we could focus on?
Like many issues there are two sides to this. Overwhelmingly I am erring on the side of the notion that this is completely ridiculous. We have an ever increasing number of children who have allergies and who get sick at the drop of a hat. There are people (like our first aid instructor lady at school) who say this is because our world is too sanitised. Children need to play and get dirty and experience their world. They need to build up a strong, healthy immune system so that they can fight off illnesses. Using disinfectants and sanitisers at the rate we do these days is actually making our kids sick, according to those with some common sense. They need to be exposed to germs and get sick sometimes in order to build immunity. Did you know there are hundreds of different cold and flu viruses? You know that exposure to a virus builds immunity to that bug, right? So if you put off getting sick until you're in adulthood you'll end up spending a lot of time unwell....and it feels worse when you're a grown up! Let the kids have their birthday cake and the germs as well. Within reason.
The flip side of the argument is the obviously snotty, sick children that spread those germs everywhere and make other people sick. Even I would draw the line there. I had a student with lots of snot sneeze on me two years ago. I got sick. I knew I would - you can't get sneezed on in the face by someone who has snot like that and not get sick. You know what? I won't get that version of the virus again! But if that student had blown out candles I would have avoided the cake. Or at least scraped off the top.
What can I say - once you've lived in a third world country Aussie germs seem pretty 'clean'. It really doesn't pay to be a germophobe!