Parents who lick baby's pacifier clean could prevent allergies
Fox News reported that a small study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics showed parents who suck on their child'spacifier to clean it may be inadvertently reducing that child's risk of developing allergies.
At age 18 months, children born to parents who said they cleaned their child's pacifier with their mouths were less likely than those born to parents who cleaned the pacifier in other ways to have asthma and eczema.
The Swedish study could not directly proveif a pacifiers caked in the saliva of an infant’s parents was related to the reduction in allergies. Instead, it may simply be likely that parents who suck their children’s pacifiers to clean them tend to be more relaxed about germs in the first place.
The 184 infants in the study were particularly allergy-prone: 80 percent had at least one parent with allergies.
How was the study conducted?
When the babies were six months old, 65 parents reported "cleaning" their pacifiers by sucking on them. Most parents also said they rinsed pacifiers with tap water. The children were then brought in for allergy testing at 18 and 36 months of age.
At the first visit, 46 of them had eczema and 10 had asthma symptoms. Kids whose pacifiers had been sucked on by parents were 63 percent less likely to have eczema at 18 months and 88 percent less likely to have asthma, compared to the children of parents who didn't use that cleaning technique.
By 36 months, the difference had gone away for asthma. Parental pacifier sucking was still tied to a 49-percent lower chance of a child having eczema, researchers led by Dr. Bill Hesselmar from Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenburg found.