Good news for parents looking for ways to convince their kids to do their chores as new research suggests that washing dishes could help prevent the development of allergies.
Kids whose families wash their dishes by hand were shown to have fewer allergies, according to a study by researchers at Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden and published in the journal Pediatrics
For the study, researchers assessed surveys of the parents of 1,029 children aged 7 to 8 and found that in households where families hand-washed their dishes instead of using a machine kids were less likely to have allergies.
The results showed that while 38 percent of kids in households that used machine dishwashers had a history of eczema (commonly found in families with a history of other allergies), only 23 percent of children in households that used hand dishwashing had a history of eczema.
This could be related to the exposure to more bacteria that hand-washing brings, as machine dishwashers have been shown to kill more bacteria than the manual method. The researchers noted that if you are exposed to germs early in life this can help the immune system to become more tolerant of microbial exposure and lessen the chance of developing allergies.
This recent study adds to the list of factors that have been linked to reducing the risk of allergies including having pets, eating peanuts, etc.