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Study: Licking your child’s pacifier clean may offer health benefits

Baby pacifier

Parents who clean a baby’s pacifier by putting it in their mouth first are apparently doing it right, according to the findings of a new study.

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

That said, the Swedish study could not directly prove if 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.

Regardless, 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.

Want more coverage of this story? Click here to read on at NYTimes.com

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