Study: Gardens Boost Immune Systems Of Daycare Kids

Want to keep the kids healthy during cold and flu season? Getting them outside and letting them play in the yard could help. According to a new study out of Finland, being exposed to nature and greenery could help boost a kid’s immune system. When grass, forest undergrowth and planter boxes filled with plants were added to daycare centers in the European country and the students were allowed to care for the crops, positive changes were seen in their immune systems in a short amount of time.

Compared to city kids who were playing in standard urban daycares with pavement, tile and gravel in their yards, the three-, four-, and five-year-olds who attended the greened-up daycares showed improvements in T-cells and other important immune markers in their blood within 28 days. Both the diversity of the microbes on their skin and in their guts appeared healthier in a month’s time.

“We also found that the intestinal microbiota of children who received greenery was similar to the intestinal microbiota of children visiting the forest every day,” explains environmental scientist Marja Roslund from the University of Helsinki. When we’re in contact with nature, we’re exposed to a range of microbes, which activates different parts of our immune system and for the preschoolers, it offers protection against illnesses that could keep them healthier overall.

Source: Good News Network