Health & Nutrition

What Does Crawling Do for a Baby?

One of the important stages in childhood development is when a baby crawls. Generally speaking a child that doesn’t begin crawling at 9 months should be checked for neurological and orthopedic problems hindering his development. However many experts say a storm of contaminants are inhaled right into the baby’s lungs including bacteria and fungus when he crawls.

In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology researchers in Purdue University built a robot that crawls on the floor. Checking the germs on the floor they found them to be 20 times more plentiful than in higher elevations in a room.

They then checked on the germs that gained entry into the robot and found that in similar circumstances a baby crawling will inhale 4 times more germs than a person walking on the same floor. Crawling is activity that increases air intake and the baby’s face, nostrils and mouth are closer to the floor so their germ intake is far greater. This ‘storm of contaminants’ include dust, skin cells, fungus and germs that the baby inhales.

But don’t get too scared of this…experts also say that exposure to these contaminants is not the worst thing in the world. A parent’s obsession against germs and all the psychological damage it brings is far more harmful often weakening the baby’s immune system. According to Dr. Brandon Boor the research team head, “many research studies show that inhaling germs and dust particles at an early stage of life plays an important role in protecting the child from allergies and asthma.”

In the 80’s Epidemiologist Dr. David P. Strachan in his Hygiene Hypothesis proposed the idea that a lack of early exposure to the types of germs and stimuli that people used to have is the cause of allergies. Early exposure helps bring on natural immunity to these things. Studies showed that children from clean homes suffered allergies and asthma more than children from less clean areas.


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