A ‘Forest Floor’ In A Playground Helped Kids’ Immune Systems

A daycare in Finland transformed its playground to mimic a forest floor, replacing sand with indigenous forest species like dwarf heather and blueberries. Within a month, children showed improved health, with healthier microbiomes and stronger immune systems compared to urban daycare counterparts. Specifically, they exhibited increased T-cells, immune-boosting microbes, and reduced interleukin-17A levels, a contributor to immune-related diseases.

Environmental scientist Marja Roslund noted that children with access to greenery had intestinal microbiota similar to those visiting forests daily. This suggests that loss of biodiversity in urban areas can impact health outcomes, but simple environmental changes can mitigate these effects, especially in young children.

Research shows that rural children, who spend more time outdoors, have fewer allergies and asthma cases, highlighting the correlation between nature exposure and childhood health. While further studies are needed, this experiment underscores the importance of incorporating natural spaces into urban environments, offering mental and physical health benefits for children.

Learn more at https://www.optimistdaily.com/2020/10/a-daycare-turned-their-playground-into-a-forest-floor-with-incredible-health-results/