jMama Mia! from Truckee’s KidZone Museum says: |

jMama Mia! from Truckee’s KidZone Museum says:

jMama Mia! I have a 13-month-old baby boy who seems to be sick all the time! I don’t want to keep him at home all winter to keep him healthy, but I am very worried about the countless colds and resulting missed meals and sleepless nights he’s been suffering this season.

First of all, the home isn’t exactly a “healthy” place, so don’t be afraid to brave the outside world for some fresh air and new germs. Our homes are actually very toxic places full of pet dander, dust, mold and mildew in carpets and furniture and residues from soaps, shampoos and cleaning products found in bathrooms and kitchens.

Your baby boy will be a lot stronger in warding off antigens (any foreign substance and organism that cause illness in the body) in the future if he is allowed a few bits of dirt and grime in his environs today. The folks at enforce this idea by highlighting a common theory among experts: “Hygiene hypothesis” holds that when babies are exposed to germs, it helps them fight allergies and asthma later. The prevalence of allergies has increased substantially in the past 15 years, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Some experts believe that too much cleanliness might be a contributing factor. Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief of allergy and immunology at the Medical College of Georgia, found in a study babies in households with multiple pets have fewer allergies at age 6 or 7 not just to animals, but also to ragweed, grass and dust mites.

Don’t worry about going out and enjoying a little dirt in the world, do however, worry about those missed meals and sleepless nights. According to (look up: Children’s Immune Systems): “Parents can further strengthen their child’s immune system by serving at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, including things like oranges, strawberries, carrots and green beans. According to Dr. William Sears, these contain phytonutrients like Vitamin C and carotenoids, which help boost immunity. Make sure your child gets adequate sleep as well. Newborns need up to 18 hours of sleep per day, while toddlers require up to 13 hours a day and preschoolers 10 hours a day.”

Although your baby’s illnesses can be perfectly normal and apparently very helpful in the development of his immune system, some local kids’ hot spots don’t exactly want to encourage the spread of illness. The folks at KidZone Museum for example, have an extensive cleansing regime according to the Executive Director: “We clean our bathrooms, infant and jungle mats, plastic food, and Magnatiles daily. Everything else we clean five times a week and deep clean a different area each week. We installed alcohol gel for a quick hand disinfectant. We use non-toxic environmentally friendly products 80 percent of the time except when no other option will suffice. Our biggest challenge is helping our customers understand how important it is to not bring a sick child to the museum. This is the key to helping us stop spread germs.”

So get out and experience a few new germs today. But if you or your child are already under the weather, wait out the storm and mingle with the other little germ factories when you are feeling healthier. Everyone will be happier.

” If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail or call 587-KIDS.

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