Germy battle over baby pacifiers
PHILADELPHIA, PA., May 6, 2013 (WPVI) -- The battle is on over baby pacifiers! Researchers are split on whether parents' spit on a pacifier helps boost immunity.
A small Swedish study says that parents who pick up a dropped pacifier, put it in their mouths, then back into baby's mouth may help reduce infant allergies.
The theory is that parents are boosting the child's immunity by exposing the infants to more bacteria.
Researchers at Goteborg University says that by 18 months, infants exposed to parental saliva had less asthma and eczema. By the age of 3, they only had a lower rate of eczema.
Pediatricians point out the study only shows an association, not that the saliva-covered pacifiers caused the lower rates of allergic reactions.
But the American Dental Association has gone further, blasting the study.
In a statement, the ADA said the study, "'does not provide the full picture."
It continued, "Parents should be aware that bacteria that cause dental decay can be transmitted from adult to child by sharing eating utensils, or by the parent sucking on a baby's pacifier to clean it."
Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dental spokesperson for the ADA, says parents can use other routes, such as breastfeeding, to build a healthy immune system.
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