"Over sterilisation" or just good hygiene?
There is a difference between good hygiene and being “obsessively clean”. The Little Knights team is proud of the paint range we have worked hard to develop. Not only do the colours look great, we believe the properties of our paint – antibacterial and 100% VOC-free – are important in improving the health of young children, both now and into the future.
We were contacted on Facebook by someone questioning whether our antibacterial paints are good for young children. She suggested they might be part of a growing trend towards “over sterilisation” which she said is “unhealthy”. While this view is inaccurate, we understand where confusion might have come from. Let us explain:
The Hygiene Hypothesis
Growing evidence shows exposure to germs and bacteria at a young age helps to strengthen the immune system and protects children from developing problems like allergies, asthma and bowel problems. This school of thought has been coined ‘the hygiene hypothesis’ after ground-breaking research in 1989 by Professor David Strachan at the University of London found that children with fewer siblings (and subsequently less germs in the home) were more likely to develop hay fever.
Since then, the hygiene hypothesis has been used to argue that our obsession with cleanliness is, in fact, harming our children rather than protecting them. But it is misleading to say that modern hygiene standards are bad for our health. While playing outside, and catching colds off school friends and siblings can help build immunity, it’s also important we maintain good standards of personal and home hygiene.
As the NHS advises: “Good hygiene is about avoiding infection and preventing the spread of infection to others. Good hygiene isn't about being dirt-free and doesn't require being obsessively clean. Good hygiene is about preventing the spread of germs at times and in places and situations where it really matters, such as when preparing food, after using the toilet, after sneezing and when someone’s ill with an infection.”
"Like soap and water for your walls"
And this is where Little Knights’ antibacterial paint comes in – we regard our paint as soap and water for your walls, helping to maintain good hygiene in the home. Just as using soap and water is vital in everyday life for cleanliness, so cleaning and wiping down walls and other surfaces helps keep harmful germs at bay. Little Knights’ paints also inhibits the growth of mildew on surfaces – fungi that can harm older children and even adults, let alone babies.
What’s more, Little Knights’ paint has been specially developed for new-born babies to protect their immune systems at their weakest. It is our belief that it is preferable to have a safe environment for a very young child, rather than see them fall ill and be put on antibiotics - an outcome that is likely to impact a child’s health in the long-term more than over-sterilisation.