From Parenting 24/7: University of Illinois Extension

infants

To head off allergies, expose your kids to pets and dirt early. Really.

Posted , updated Mar 21, 2006.

Here's the conventional wisdom: Pets promote allergy, kids shouldn't eat peanuts until they're at least 3, and intestinal worms are nothing more than an icky reminder of life before flush toilets. Here's the new wisdom: Early exposure to pets, peanuts and intestinal worms might actually be good for you, because they program the developing immune system to know the difference between real threats, such as germs, and Aunt Millie's cat

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