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Can Sucking Your Baby’s Pacifier Lower Allergy Risk?

Immune stimulation by microbes transferred from parents to infants via pacifiers is thought to reduce risk of allergy development, and a new study in Pediatrics investigates whether pacifier cleaning practices affect the risk. Researchers found that “Children whose parents ‘cleaned’ their pacifier by sucking it (n = 65) were less likely to have asthma (odds ratio [OR] 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.01–0.99), eczema (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.15–0.91), and sensitization (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.10–1.27) at 18 months of age than children whose parents did not use this cleaning technique (n = 58) … Vaginal delivery and parental pacifier sucking yielded independent and additive protective effects against eczema development.”

Read it in Pediatrics.