Question of the day: Are today's kids too afraid of dirt?

04-19-2012 // Sue Thoms - The Grand Rapids Press

This excerpt is from The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com

When the National Wildlife Federation issued its report on the health benefits of playing outside and in the dirt, I couldn’t help but wonder how kids a generation or two ago would have reacted.

Really? All this mud I’m tracking in the house is good for me? Wait till I tell Mom.

More and more kids are spending the majority of their free time indoors and paying the price with their health, the federation says. It cites research that shows getting kids outside can boost the immune system, help with attention deficit disorder, reduce stress and improve far vision – not to mention reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Avoiding dirt at all costs – in an attempt to avoid germs -- can backfire, doctors say. Exposure to the elements helps a body build resistance to disease.

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