According to new guidelines published by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, children are treated as if they have no way to fight off infection.
Such policies outlined include not allowing a child to blow out candes on a birthday cake for fear that they would spread germs to the other children at the party. They suggest that each child has an individual cupcake each with its own candle.
Other guidelines stipulate that children should wash their hands before playing in a sandbox. Additionally, children are not allowed to return to day care centers until a prescribed time has passed since the child has become sick, rather than when the child is actually healthy and feeling better, regardless of a doctor's note.
In a world where children are increasingly being protected from the daily life that thousands of generations have lived through it is astonishing how shortsighted the NHMRC is.
If children are not exposed to germs when they are young they do not develop proper immunity to their environment and infections that those around them will have throughout their life.
It is know that one of the reasons that the incidence of autoimmune diseases in western countries is due to a "hyper cleanliness," what many scientists call "the hygiene hypothesis." Less developed countries and even rural areas in developed ones, where children are in contact with soil and microbes on a constant basis, have lower rates of asthma and immune disorders.
If the Research Council was looking out for the welfare and health of the children of Australia they would not have such counterintuitive mandates such as using alcohol based hand sanitizer before playing in a sand box, where children would just get dirty again.
What do you think about these new regulatons?