Parent's saliva on pacifiers can reduce child allergies

Swedish study finds results

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - Swedish researchers said they found parents who suck their baby's pacifier to clean it are reducing the child's risk of developing allergies.

Doctors said this is a relatively small study of less than 200 babies, but it does seem to fall in line with other studies that have found raising our kids in a germ phobic society is contributing to a rise of allergies.

"My grandmother raised and she exposed us to the elements instead of keeping us away from the elements," said Houstonian Patrice Davies. "She always made us be in the cold, be in the grass, be in the dirt, be in everything, so I think there might be some truth to that."

"We've gotten to the point where there's more allergies now because we're using so many antibacterial products and try to keep everything just so clean that the children are not having a chance to build up their own immune systems," said Dr. Debra Cutler with Kelsey-Seybold.

Cutler told Local 2 parents are constantly passing immunity-boosting germs to their kids by sharing utensils or kisses. He added that if you're looking for other ways to boost your child's immunity, you might want to check out four-legged friends.

Larger studies have shown that growing up in a house with dogs lessens your chance for allergies, eczema, and asthma.

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