Thumb sucking, nail biting in children may protect against aller - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thumb sucking, nail biting in children may protect against allergies

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(NBC) -

A new study suggests two childhood habits that often frustrate parents may actually help protect their little ones from allergies.

Researchers in New Zealand suggest kids who suck their thumbs and bite their nails are better shielded from developing allergies to dust mites, grass, animals and other allergens. The reduced risk lasted into adulthood. 

While it's more evidence for the so-called "hygiene hypothesis," experts don't recommend encouraging kids to pick up these habits if they haven't already.

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