If you are worried about your child thumb-sucking, don’t be! He’ll be texting with it soon. Just kidding.

New research shows that children who are gross (read: thumb-suckers or nail-biters) are less likely to develop allergies later in the life. Grossness does have some benefits, after all.

As a parent, you may be having 101 concerns about your child’s health and safety, nail-biting and thumb-sucking being among them. You are not entirely wrong because this habit can affect teeth alignment resulting in an insanely crooked smile. But don’t be too hard on your child if repetitive snubbing and scolding doesn’t work. Just let him suck the germs, dirt and filth – oh, I mean his thumb. Gross as this practice may be, it boosts immunity in your child right from the outset.

New research from New Zealand shows that compared to individuals who stayed away from germy practices, those who sucked thumb as babies had lower rates of allergy in their adulthood i.e., 49% vs 38%. Children who both sucked their thumb and bit their nails are lucky little pricks. The research showed lowest allergy sensitivity among this gross – read: lucky – lot i.e., 31%.

So, it’s not so worrying after all if you see your baby sucking their thumb. Next time you see them sucking thumb or biting their nails, avoid being tough on them. In fact, if they are not, you may want to encourage them to do so.

Kidding again. Enjoy your toddler’s early days, it’s the best time of your life.