Let me get something off my chest: I don't cringe or flip out when my dog licks my daughter's face or hand. There, I am *that* mom. Now let me explain...
I am probably the complete opposite of a clean freak. I like things orderly and I really prefer my kitchen to be tidy, but that's about as far as that goes. I prefer to make memories instead of constantly clean and worry. So before you label me as pure filth, let me assure you that my home is clean enough that I would feel comfortable eating off the floor. You might not, but I sure will.
I am not afraid of germs. To an extend, of course. I am mostly keeping my child away from enclosed spaces during the winter months and avoid sick people because that's just the logical thing to do. Got the flu, don't bother coming around, I won't let you in. Not that you could get out of bed anyway but you get my point. So while I'm definitely aware of illnesses around us, I am not going to spray everything down before my child touches it. I truly believe that exposing my child to various "germs" will build her immune system. That results in me not flinching when the dog walks by and kisses her face or hands, when she licks the window or floor, or touches the dog bone.
There's a ton of articles that state that infants who are exposed to household germs and pet dander during their first year of life appear to have lower risk of developing asthma and allergies (source). So yep, I am not going to wrap my daughter in bubble wrap.
Let's kick it up a notch: Previous research has shown that children who grow up on farms have lower allergy and asthma rates, a phenomenon attributed to their regular exposure to microorganisms present in farm soil (same source as above).
So guys, please let your kids play outside, with the soil and grass. Don't freak when they put everything in their mouth (unless it's a choking risk of course!) It's not only good for their immune system, it's also incredibly rewarding to their being. This is mainly a post for another day, but I find it so sad that kids nowadays are constantly inside! I came across this great book at a bookstore the other day that I want to get from the library - Last Child in the Woods. When I do, I'll be sure to write another post about it.
PS: If you're concerned about your immunity and would like something that supports it, check out my post about Thieves Essential Oil. We use it daily and it's kept us from being down and out this winter.