Allergies less common in kids who suck thumbs, bite nails

It is a known factor that parents are willing to try everything to get their kids to stop sucking their thumbs or biting their nails. The thumb sucking brings a lot of concern on their teeth alignments when they first come in. The thumb sucking habit is usually corrected by the time that school starts, but as for nail biting not so easy. The study suggests those habits may have a health benefit, after all, kids who suck their thumb or bite their nails into young adult life may be less likely to have allergies.

Dr. Roberto Hancox from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, has conducted a study with kids from the time that they were born way into adulthood. The Professor is not dismissing the concerns of many parents or caregivers, he is only revealing his own finding or researching the habits, the consolation is that kids with such a habit have been proven to be less like to allergies.

How is that possible when your hand touches everything from dirty toys to door knobs that has never been wiped or disinfect from all the other little hands,

According to Hancox, it all relates to the “hygiene hypothesis.” The theory is that exposure to bacteria and other microbes early in life helps steer the immune system toward infection-fighting mode, and away from a tendency toward allergic reactions.


But the study can’t prove that either habit directly lowered kids’ risk of becoming sensitized to allergens, Hancox acknowledged. The Dr. also said his team has worked with many different things that can influence kids immune system, many factors do come into consideration, for example:  were breastfed, lived with pets or had a family history of allergies, or exposed to second-hand smoking.

While it is hard to explain the finding other experts that reviewed the study to agree. Dr. Mika Hiramatsu, a pediatrician reviews the material and  “This is another piece of evidence in support of the hygiene hypothesis.” She’s a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Doctors are in no way shape or form saying or suggesting that germ filled environments or rolling in the mud are better for the kids, In the same token being in a sterile environment is not actually the best either.

Parents still have to take the necessary care with washings hands properly, and taking the necessary precautions for a healthy and safe environment. The result of this study findings is based on over 1,000 New Zealand, the study started when they were born and most of the were followed into adulthood.

Parents have reported that 31 percents of the children were biting their nails or sucking their thumb frequently between the ages of 5 to 11, and it has been shown that those kids were one-third less likely. That meant they were less likely to test positive when their skin was exposed to allergy triggers like pollen and dust mites. And the pattern was still apparent all the way up to the age of 32, said, researchers.The same pattern was still apparent at age 32, the researchers found.

The participants in the study were asked whether they’d been diagnosed with asthma or hay fever. And for thumb-suckers and nail-biters, there was no difference in the risk of developing those conditions.


Evidencia News, is based in Miami, but its columnist collaborators are spread around the world. With a strategy of linguistic and non-demographic communication, Evidencia News reaches its audience in an effective and objective way.

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