(INDIANAPOLIS) - New research claims that exposing a baby to germs may help prevent them from getting sick a lot as they grow.
A study out of Switzerland showed that infant mice who were intentionally exposed to some bacteria were less likely to develop asthma when they got older.
"This supports the idea that some of these exposures early in life turn out to be protective," said Dr. Mark Holbreich, an allergist and immunologist at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.
Holbreich says this study backs up that claims.
"Some of these bacteria we have are good and helpful, and antibiotics wipe out everything. So, you have to figure out what's good to keep and what to get rid of."
He says doctors who prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses that could heal on their could be doing more harm than good.
While the new study only dealt with developing immune systems, some doctors believe the extensive use of antibacterial products, such as soaps and hand sanitizers, has led to the potential for more drug-resistant bacteria.
Holbreich says that hasn't entirely been proven, yet, and says hand sanitizer has its uses.
"Prevention of viral illnesses by hand-washing and hand-sanitizing is very important. Infections can be spread by contact," Holbreich said.
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