1 Great Reason Moms of Thumb-Suckers & Nail-Biters Can Relax

Sleeping little cute baby sucking thumb

Remember the days when your mom used to pop you upside the head kindly remind you to stop sucking your thumb when you were a kid (assuming you did it)? Most parents have heard endless horror stories of all the things that can happen if their child continues with a "bad habit." Well, there might be one silver lining to this particular habit! According to a new study, thumb-suckers and nail-biters are less likely to develop allergies.

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No, really.

Published in the journal Pediatrics is an on-going analysis looking at whether thumb-sucking and/or nail-biting can curb a child's tendency to develop common allergies -- including hay fever and even asthma.

Researchers in New Zealand followed children through their adult years (most are now in their thirties) and paid close attention to kids who sucked their thumbs and bit their nails between ages 5 and 11. Skin tests were performed at various ages to determine if children reacted to common allergies like dust mites, grass, and pets.

And, guess what?

The results will make you want to call your mother and say, "I told ya so!"

More from CafeMom: 10 Bizarre Allergies You Didn't Know Existed (PHOTOS)

The study found that kids who were all about thumb-sucking or nail-biting were notably less likely to have allergies. And if kids happened to do both, their chances were reduced even more. As study co-author Malcolm Sears points out to the New York Times, "Early exposure in many areas is looking as if it's more protective than hazardous, and I think we've just added one more interesting piece to that information."

I don't know about you, but this makes me let out a sigh of relief.

Every time a study comes out I feel like I am waiting to exhale. With more and more researchers pointing out horrifying dangers regarding our kids -- and their well-being -- the list of "you better not do this if you want your child to be safe" feels endless.

(No wonder new moms get frantic and want to wrap their kids in foam.)

Seeing that thumb-sucking and nail-biting exposes kids to yucky germs, maybe it's a good thing for little ones to have early exposure, so their immune systems can go into ninja mode to ward off sickness (and allergies).

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While parents should certainly take heed of potential issues involved with a child constantly putting his or her hands in the mouth (infections, a sign of anxiety, teeth issues), hopefully, this study will help put more moms and dads at ease.

My 1-year-old sucks his thumb on occasion -- and while I try my best not to chase after him like I'm the sanitation police, hearing a little thumb-sucking action can help protect him from developing allergies gives me the peace of mind to "Hulk down."

 

 

 

Image via bubutu/Shutterstock

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