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More contact with pets by children reduces the risk of allergies

On relationship between children and pets It tends to divide the waters: there are those who want children to be in contact with animals from an early age, while others want to avoid it (at least for a limited time). The new study can provide a scientific argument for one of the positions.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, analyzed the relationship between children and allergies and found a scheme: More contact with pets by children reduces the risk of allergies, eczema, or asthma. So far, there have been studies that suggested this relationship, but with an animal. This working group wondered if this would change, taking several.

Thus, they analyzed the information from the previous colleagues' work and noted that, in fact, the number of pets was important. According to the results published in the scientific magazine PLoS ONE, in the first study they reviewed the incidence of allergies fell from 43% in boys who spent the first year with a pet to 24% in those who lived with three – Both who lived with five did not develop -.

In the second thing, the same benefit is proven: after eight or nine years, those who shared their first childhood with a pet, had a risk of 48% of allergies, while the figure dropped to 21% in those who have been exposed to two or more.

"A dog or cat that is rarely inside the house or in contact with children can not have a protective effect," said Bill Hesselmar, one of the authors of the article, because the explanation for this relationship has not been seen so far. As a reason, the researcher assumes that perhaps pet owners have microbes that stimulate the immune system of children and thus the appearance of allergies is avoided. In this regard, he clarified that spending time outdoors from an early age, as well as contact with other children, also appears to have a protective effect.

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