Nail Biting Results
Next time you tell a child to stop sucking a thumb or biting a fingernail or two, think again. For a recent study by researchers from the Univerisity of Otago in New Zealand suggest those children who put their thumbs and fingers in their mouths are less likely to develop allergies thanks to being exposed to germs which strengthen their immune systems. As part of the study the thumb sucking and nail biting habits of 1,000 children were recorded at the ages of five, seven, nine and 11 years old, while allergies were tested at the ages of 13 and 32. The results show that those children who sucked their thumbs or bit their nails frequently, were less prone to allergies such as dust mites or pets at the age of 13 than those children who did not. And what’s more they stayed protected as adults. Holly Shaw of Allergy UK, said “Research that has been carried out in other countries also adds weight to this theory of the role the environment and gut microbiota play in shaping an individual’s potential to develop a food allergy. Having pets at home, older siblings and living on a farm have also been identified as environmental influences that may have a role in the development of allergic disease.” Co-researcher Prof Malcolm Sears added “While we don’t recommend that these habits should be encouraged, there does appear to be a positive side to these habits.” Is that a thumbs up from the Professor?