Study: Parents who clean baby’s pacifier with own mouth are helping baby’s health

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A new study finds parents who clean their baby’s pacifier by putting it in their mouth could be helping their children in the long run.

In the study published Monday in the journal “Pediatrics,” researchers report that infants whose parents sucked on their pacifiers to clean them developed fewer allergies than children whose parents typically rinsed or boiled the pacifiers.

The study out of Sweden could not directly prove if pacifiers cleaned with the parents’ own saliva was the direct cause of the reduction in allergies.

The findings seem to add to a growing body of evidence that suggests some degree of exposure to germs at an early age benefits children.

“I wonder if the parents that cleaned the pacifiers orally were just more accepting of the old saying that you’ve got to eat a peck of dirt,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University who was not involved in the research, but who was quoted in the New York Times article.

Read more about the study here from the NY Times.

Children with pacifier-sucking parents also had lower rates of eczema and fewer signs of asthma.

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