Kids Raised on Farms Have Fewer Allergies
Farms can be dirty and full of germs, which it turns out can be good for a baby’s immune system. Previous studies have shown that farm babies are less likely to suffer from asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues.
The National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have received a $5 million grant to find out why children who are raised on farms are less likely to have allergies than children who are raised in urban and suburban areas.
Allergist James Gern will lead the study saying, There’s something that farm families are doing right in raising their kids to be healthy and we’d like to know what it is.
You’d think that the kids would have more problems. After all, farms are full of bacteria, germs, and icky stuff.
Gern hopes that the team will find out why farm kids seem to resist allergies and utilize that knowledge to develop treatments and vaccines that will take care of the allergies of all children.
Two hundred babies will be studied from birth to age two. Half will be farm kids and the others will live in urban areas. The kids from urban areas will be taken to a farm so that they can be exposed to whatever it is that is keeping the other kids protected and the researchers will test to see what changes, if any, have happened in their systems.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If allergies can be controlled or even eradicated, Spring and Fall will be a lot more bearable for a lot more people.
source: Wisconsin Public Radio News