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Nowadays there are very few sicknesses that a toddler or a pre-schooler can catch and that will kill or irreversibly harm him. Most bacteria infections can be treated and there is little real danger. Viral infections are rarely lethal.

Many parents attempt to put the baby in a protective bubble - don't let them get wet, so that they won't catch a cold, don't take them to a pool, because they can get an ear infection, and so on.

On the other hand, since most catchable diseases are curable, we could let our children go and get cold and wet, let their organisms strenghten, and if they get sick, we can treat them accordingly.

What do you think is the correct approach? What is best for our children? What kind of middle ground between the two extremes should we attempt to reach? Or is one of the extremes a good solution?

Is there trustworthy research which proves one way is better than other for long-term health?

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    I have never seen an extreme being the right answer to any problem. – DainDwarf Jul 1 '15 at 6:53
  • Do you think this is substantially similar or different — Does too much or too little exposure to infection affect long-term immune health? – Acire Jul 1 '15 at 11:26
  • @Erica I was considering environmental factors influencing the probability of getting sick; the other question is about putting children in direct contact with a known source of infection. I'd say these are different questions - though my own question's topic could be clearer (I don't have an idea how to correct it and make it as short, though) – Dariusz Jul 1 '15 at 11:36
  • Is this essentially asking about the hygiene hypothesis then? – Acire Jul 1 '15 at 11:53
  • Consider why so many city-dwellers get allergic. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jul 1 '15 at 12:21
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I think this totally depends on your vision about how to raise children, it seems impossible for us to answer to me.

Note that having to cure your kid when it gets ill isn't always the best option. What I mean is: If your kid gets serious ill and neets antibiotics, it will cure him (which is good), but the antibiotics kill the "good germs" in the intestines as well, weakening them for a long time (which is obviously not so good).

I think that the correct approach is the approach you feel best about. If you're not worried quickly when your child is ill, you can probably handle the "let them play in the rain, a cold won't kill them"-attitude. But if you're really concerned when your kid has some small fever, it doesn't seem to fit your style.

(Sorry for lack of "research" and other links to give in this post, most of what I read is in Dutch, so that won't really help here)

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