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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Thumb-Sucking May Lower Kids' Risk for Allergies

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,

michaeljung/Thinkstock

Here’s a bright side to thumb-sucking and nail-biting: They might lower a child’s risk for allergies later in life. Researchers followed 724 children from birth, conducting skin-prick allergy tests at age 13. Interestingly, 38 percent of those who had at least one of the two habits when they were younger had skin reactions to common allergens—including house dust mites, grass, dogs, and cats—compared with 45 percent of children with neither habit. Some researchers believe that the more germs children are exposed to (in this case, by putting dirty fingers in their mouths), the better their immune systems are able to handle outside invaders later on. Source: Pediatrics, published online July 11, 2016

 
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