Children biting nails, sucking thumb may be less likely to develop allergiesAccording to a new study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails in early childhood and long after preschool age may be less likely to develop allergies into adolescence. Plus, protective benefits may continue into adulthood.

Senior researcher Dr. Robert Hancox of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, maintains that encouraging these habits is not appropriate, and that there is concern regarding thumb sucking and the way a child’s teeth grow in. For children who find it hard to break this habit Hancox suggests, “maybe there is some consolation in the fact that there may be a reduction in the risk of allergies.

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