Just As I Thought

Get dirty

Via Mac comes a link to a blog that says just what I was thinking:

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: We’re raising a bunch of pansy ass kids these days! They get plastic playgrounds with safety mats. Where’s the fun without the tetnus? They don’t have to play “cream the chubby kid” in dodgeball. They have “games” wherein no one wins and no one loses so that no one gets their feelings hurt. Pansies. I had to pick scabs off my chin countless times from crazy games of Red Rover. I rode my big wheel long after the pedals came off and there was nothing but the metal peg left. Is Four Square allowed? We got into some serious ragers over Four Square.

And when the **** did everyone become allergic to peanuts? Was there a great peanut allergy revolution that I missed? You can’t even send cookies or cupcakes to school with kids anymore because there might be peanut traces in them and ohhhhh noooooooooo!!!!!!

Ask any doctor, and you’ll learn what contributes to allergies: lack of exposure. I’ve met parents who never feed their kid anything with peanuts, thinking that they are dangerous somehow. And of course, having never grown up having a single peanut, they either become allergic or assume that they are.
It’s the same with lots of things: kids aren’t allowed to become dirty or messy, their toys are anti-bacterial and they’re trained to continually wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap. They become little sterile creatures living in a bubble… and their bodies can’t handle infection or bacteria because their immune systems have never been exposed to it.
I’m a 38-year-old man. My parents let me play — despite my discomfort with grass — and I got dirty and messy, ate all kinds of food, and had various dogs. We didn’t have anti-bacterial substances other than Pine-sol and bleach, and somehow I managed to grow up healthy with no allergies.
I am convinced that today’s bizarre lurch toward sterility is what’s to blame for the epidemic in child allergies — or, at least, the hysterical assumption that children are allergic. (“I’m allergic!” has for many years been a universal excuse to avoid something.)
Folks, let your kids play outside. Let them make mud pies and try to eat them (unless you live over a Superfund clean up site). Get them a dog or cat, and let their faces be licked.
The world is dirty. Unless you want your kid to live in a bubble, let them be part of the world. It won’t kill them. It’ll make them stronger.


  • I agree with you 99%.

    Everything except the peanut issue. Which is killing about 100 kids a year.

    It has something to do with puberty?
    No deaths under 13 And 14-16 being the dead zone.

    I would agree that untill they figure it out it might be best not to have peanuts in school lunches. Peanut alergys aren’t a pain they’re a killer!

    The rest I agree with 100%

  • Gene, I’m sorry, but my little girl has a peanut allergy. I had conflicting emotions when I found this out, as I grew up without that malady and also have had my share of scabs, schoolyard fights and all the other stuff that comes with being a kid. But Kerry’s allergy is so profound that I have to keep a dose of eppy in my closet in case she goes into shock. The first time she ate a peanut butter sandwich she threw up all over the place. I was terrified; children with allergies that severe can suffocate because the membranes in their lungs and throat become so inflamed that they can’t breathe.
    Same thing with eggs and seafood- she could die from it. I don’t know why this peanut thing has become so pervasive and I wish Kerry didn’t have it. But she does, and I’d rather have her alive than not.
    I agree that most kids are overly sheltered now. My personal feeling about kids taking chances is: “okay, climb the tree. No problem. If you break your arm from falling out, don’t cry too much- I’ll take you to the emergency room, get you a cast, and you can climb the tree again.” Same with schoolyard fights: Don’t ever start a fight, but you have an absolute right to defend yourself, so if someone hits you, pummel them into the ground.
    My child might have allergies, but she’s always been taught to get back on the horse if she falls off. And my oldest daughter isn’t afraid of anything. She rollerskates on the street better than I do, and I skated on the street for years with the Urban Animals here in Houston. She’s been taught that road rash is part of the whole skating thing.
    Personally I think our environment has contributed to the pansy factor in kids. Our air sucks, our water sucks, because of what we’ve done to this planet.
    Sorry to rant, but there it is.

  • The fact remains that our older generation doesn’t seem to have the peanut allergy, at least not in the epidemic numbers seen in the newest generation. What do you think is the cause of this sudden increase in this particular allergy?
    Such a strange and rapid mutation in our genetic pool is worthy of some intensive research, I think. It’s akin to the three-legged frogs… this sudden change in human health might be a significant warning sign. But what’s it telling us? To stop growing peanuts?

  • I think Chris Rock said it best- “America is the only country in which people are allergic to food. Allergic to food? Do you think anyone in Rawanda has a f**king lactose intolerance?

  • Oh, Kat — I don’t think anyone is dissing you, least of all me. Of course there are real allergies and they are potentially devastating.
    But what I’m railing against is the overly cautious parents who refuse to let their kids be kids; the ones who rush to put their kids on medication because they act up in school, the ones who won’t let their kids have a dog or drink a Coke every once in a while. The ones that try to protect their children so vociferously that they don’t let their kids experience childhood.
    I’m so sorry that your little girl has fallen victim to this — admit it — strange new malady. Has her doctor ever given you a clue as to what could have caused her to become allergic?

  • I have no special inside information on the seemingly sudden increase in peanut allergies and deaths but a couple things come to mind.

    In the 70’s 60’s and earlier we didn’t have the news from every state and every corner of the world we have now, so a child’s death in Montana wasn’t in the news so we were unaware. But now everything everywhere can be ‘Live’ on CNN in 15 minutes. So maybe it was there but we didn’t see it.

    Also recent medical advances make seeing it easier. How many died of ‘natural causes’ in years gone by without the Dr knowing it was peanuts?

    The second issue isn’t the peanuts them selves but what we’re spraying on them. Lets not kid ourselves, they spray all kinds of crap on our food all in the name of higher profits and only stop the really bad stuff when caught. Might this not be a peanut allergy issue but rather a chemical reaction issue?

  • So…. why hasn’t anyone blamed peanut allergies on the Bush Administration? Am I on the right blog?

  • I agree that these allergies have somehow mutated into gigantic proportions; peanut allergies were unheard of when I was a kid. And my oldest daughter doesn’t have this problem at all. I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was pregnant with both my kids, and I breastfed them too. You’d think they would have an immunity because of that exposure alone. However, it’s not an imagined thing. Have either of you stood by your 5-year-old daughter’s hospital bed and watched her hooked up to all kinds of s**t so she could breathe? I have, and I never want to do it again. I don’t know if she’ll grow out of it or not; I hope so. But please don’t dis people who really have this problem.

  • I wonder also if there hasn’t been some genetic modification in peanuts in the last 10 years or so?
    It almost seems as if human beings are growing more and more divorced from the natural world around them — or we’re trying to reshape the natural world into something that suits us, unaware that some day it will suddenly snap back into shape and smack us in the process.

  • Hey, gang-

    You know, I never thought about what they might be spraying on peanuts and heavens knows what else. But Kerry’s allergic to seafood and eggs too, so go figure. What we dump into our water definitely affects sea life, and the hormones and other mystery stuff chickens get in their food does something to eggs, I’m sure. Let’s face it, our pollution is absolutely a big cause of allergies, cancers and the like. And the point that maybe this stuff just wasn’t reported to the extent that it is now is a very good one.

    And- lest you think I’m overprotective- my girls climb trees and get scabbed knees, mosquito bites, fire ant bites M&M’s, icecream, pizza and the occasional coke. While I don’t want them watching violence on the news, they are both ardent horror mavens and love scary flicks.

    And Kirk, I blame everything on the current administration, including peanut allergies. Hahaha!

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