New research claims SUCKING your baby's dummy reduces allergy risk

23 November 2018, 12:48 | Updated: 23 November 2018, 12:49

Would you clean your child's dummy like this?
Would you clean your child's dummy like this? Picture: Getty

Cleaning your baby's dummy with your mouth is said to boost their immune system

New research has claimed that sucking your baby's dummy to clean it can boost their immune system and help prevent allergies.

Bizarre as it may sound, sterilising dummies or putting them in the dishwasher may actually increase your child's allergy risk - as it doesn't expose them to as many germs as cleaning with your saliva would.

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The study found that mothers who suck dummies clean after they get dirty have children with fewer antibodies linked to asthma, food and dust allergies.

This is thought to be because this transfers the mother's germs to her baby's, which could boost their immune system.

Researchers from the Henry Ford Health System asked 128 mothers how they cleaned their children's dummies and took blood samples from their babies.

It found that babies whose mothers used saliva to clean their dummies had lower levels of immunoglobin E (igE) antibodies.

Only 1 in 8 mothers surveyed used saliva to clean their baby's dummy
Only 1 in 8 mothers surveyed used saliva to clean their baby's dummy. Picture: Getty

Dr Eliane Abou-Jaoude, who led the study, said: "We know that exposure to certain micro-organisms early in life stimulates development of the immune system and may protect against allergic diseases later.

"Parental pacifier sucking may be an example of a way parents may transfer healthy micro-organisms to their young children."

However, of the 128 participating mothers of the survey, only 1 in 8 of them cleaned their baby's dummies in this way.

Around two in five chose to sterilise, boil, steam, dishwash and microwave the dummies.

The majority of mums (72 per cent) hand washed their dummies by rinsing it under a cold tap or using washing up liquid.

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