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Do you clean your babies pacifier?

November 16, 2018

Can sucking on your babies pacifier protect them from developing allergies?


New studies suggest that a mother's spit and the bacteria in it may help prevent allergies in young children.
The study from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit adds to the theory that early exposure to microbes may prevent allergies in children. According to Dr. Eliane Abou-Jaoude from the Henry Ford Health System, "The idea is that the microbes you're exposed to in infancy can affect your immune systems development later on in life." Other research has also suggested that babies born through the microbe-filled vaginal canal instead of c-section are all less likely to develop allergies. 
This new study however has not yet been peer reviewed but it does add to the growing mountain of evidence that early microbe exposure can make children less prone to developing allergies. The studies tracked levels of that protein, the IgE antibody, in 74 infants whose mothers reported using pacifiers.  Dr. Abou-Jaoude said, "All is we know is, people with allergies, they usually have higher levels of IgE antibodies. But that doesn't mean that if you have high IgE, you're definitely going to have allergies."
Nine babies had mothers who sucked their children's binkies clean. But compared with the other children, those nine babies had significantly lower levels of IgE antibody. The researchers tracked the babies for only 18 months so it is not clear whether those babies will develop allergies later in life. 
This research is certainly interesting, and it does add support to the 'germ theory' in the development of allergies.  We polled the staff at our office here at Chicago Allergy & Asthma and found a split down the middle when it comes to cleaning your babies pacifier.  It seems like the debate will continue to go on!