Parents Sucking on Kids' Pacifiers May Help Prevent Future Allergies

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A pacifier may be key in preventing future allergies.

If you’d like to save your baby from a lifetime of suffering from allergies, consider sucking on his or her pacifier for a spell.

Researchers found that the kids of parents who stuck the pacifiers in their own mouths were less likely to develop asthma, eczema, and food allergies.

They reached this conclusion after following the specific habits of 184 non-prematurely born Swedish infants. 80% of the families had at least one allergy-afflicted parent.

The parents were instructed to keep detailed notes about their child’s upbringing for the first 12 months. Among the questions was one asking if they cleaned the baby’s pacifier by boiling it, rinsing it, or sucking on it themselves.

Approximately 75 percent of the babies used a pacifier in their first six months. 65 of these babies had their pacifiers mouth-cleaned by their parents. Those children turned out to be 88 percent less likely to develop asthma, 63 percent less likely to develop eczema, and showed a reduced proclivity towards food allergies, an indicator for others that may pop up later in life.

Obsessive sanitization has been a common proposed factor in theories about why allergies have become so much more common in children in recent years.