Thursday, November 21, 2019
BREAKING NEWS

Why Some Kids Grow Up with Fewer Allergies: Connection to Thumb Sucking

A study in the journal Pediatrics published by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that the common childhood habits of thumb-sucking and nail-biting can reduce the risk of adolescent and adult allergies.

Researchers followed more than 1,000 individuals from 5 through 32 years old, monitoring these two habits at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. The subjects were tested for allergies at 13 using a skin-prick test and again at 32. Of all participants, 31 percent were frequent thumb-suckers and nail-biters, and those children had a lower incidence of allergic reactions than the others.

These results support a hygiene hypothesis suggesting that early exposure to microbial organisms reduces the risk of developing allergies.

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