The Five Second Rule

April 6, 2006

Have you ever freaked out when your kid put something in their mouth you felt was unclean? I did, until my kids started school and would scream out “five second rule!” after picking up food that had fallen on the floor. They never really got sick, so I never really panicked.

I remember when I was a kid, we’d buy those candy necklaces and wear them around our neck as we played kick ball, kick the can, or pickle. We’d have sticky sweat pouring down our necks and we would still eat the necklace after playing…as a treat. EW!!

Well, according to this article, germs may actually be a good thing for your kids, in that exposure to germs will build up her immunity.

Now some immunology experts are beginning to agree that germs that many parents bleach and disinfect out of existence might help children.

“Hygiene hypothesis” holds that when babies are exposed to germs, it helps them fight allergies and asthma later.

The prevalence of allergies has increased substantially in the past 15 years, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and some experts believe that too much cleanliness might be a contributing factor.

So, next time your kid picks something off the floor – within the five second rule of course – we shouldn’t freak out.