(CNN) - Few things are cuter than a baby happily cooing and sucking their thumb, but as children get older, parents want their kids to kick this habit, and rightfully so.
Nail biting and thumb sucking are normally two big no-nos for toddlers and young children, but could these bad habits have a surprising upside?
According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails may have a lower risk of developing long-term allergies.
The study comes in wake of data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that allergies have increased among kids in the U.S. in recent decades.
Are people too clean? New Zealand scientists said yes.
They studied 1,000 children and found that kids with these unclean habits had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in their chances of developing allergies.
Parents should be aware that thumb sucking and nail biting aren't necessarily good.
Thumb sucking can have expensive consequences. It can misalign teeth and cause a need for braces.
Nail biting might increase the risk of spreading harmful germs. However, a possible boost in defense against allergies may be a welcome benefit.
Courtesy CNN Newsource