The “B” and microbiomes

As a mother there seems to be a variety of things I can feel guilty about – not spending enough time with my daughter, not feeding her the best food on a busy night or giving into one more television show – but I’m resting easier after reading a blog on NPR about pacifiers.

The blog talks about a recent study published in Pediatrics where findings suggest that parents who “wash off” a fallen pacifier in their own saliva may actually be helping their children avoid developing allergies – particularly eczema and asthma.

According to the blog, scientists think that when parents suck their child’s pacifier to clean it, they may actually transfer some of the harmless bacteria in their mouths to their child. These bacteria may actually stimulate a child’s immune system so it doesn’t overreact to things such as peanuts or pet dander down the road.

One award I will never win is the award for keeping Mary’s pacifier, or more affectionately known as “The B,” all that clean.   These findings support the notion that we may be living in a world that is “too clean” – and if that is the case then my home might be a great place to raise a family!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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