Whatever you do, during or after you read this, please do not roll your baby around on the subway floor. However, we do understand that parents who have to brave the subway system with their children will almost always come along with a container of Purell. It’s more than natural and healthy-minded to want to protect your children from any type of ICK they might encounter on the Subway, and we all know that’s a lot. As hair-tugging mad as “roll your baby on the subway floor” sounds, the geneticists who said it do have a good reason behind their message of ’embracing the filth’.
Geneticist Recommends Rolling Your Baby on the Subway Floor
A geneticist named Chris Mason at Weill Cornell Medical college outright suggested;
“I would advise any new parent to roll their child on the floor of the New York subway.”
I’m sure he would agree that the real message is to not be so quick to shield your baby from every tad of bacteria or microbes they could come in contact with. Mason, in fact, participated in an actual Subway Pathogen Study earlier this year which openly revealed that the NYC subway is home to microbes which are linked to everything from the basic flu to the Bubonic Plague. So Mason reminds us that most bacteria is actually completely harmless. And that it’s a fact that most researchers believe that some exposure to the ICK’s in life are actually good for us as they help to build immuno-resistence to those particular microbes.
“We tend to think of our homes and personal environments as these pristine places, and public ones as dirty and infested with bacteria,” Mason says. “But you should really think of yourself as a rabbit who gets to hop between two forests.”
The notion that being exposed to infection and germs can be good for you is known as the Hygiene Hypothesis. It is a reasonable theory that early exposure to bacteria can help our immune systems better fight the same microbes later. Bacteria is a huge part of our anatomy, making up about three pounds of an adult’s body weight.
Mason does agree that the hygiene hypothesis is superb for calming those germaphobic nerves, but suggest parents still be hyper-aware of where they take their newborns. Especially to areas where known outbreaks of illnesses the baby isn’t immunized for already occurs.