Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Allergies are very common in industrialized countries. It has been suggested that exposure to harmless bacteria during infancy may be protective against the development of allergy. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint which bacteria a baby should be exposed to, and at what time and by which route this exposure should ideally occur.

Parental sucking on their baby's pacifier may give significant protection against allergy development.
Credit: auremar / Fotolia

Allergies are very common in industrialized countries. It has been suggested that exposure to harmless bacteria during infancy may be protective against the development of allergy. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint which bacteria a baby should be exposed to, and at what time and by which route this exposure should ideally occur.

Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now report that a simple habit may give significant protection against allergy development, namely, the parental sucking on the baby's pacifier.

In a group of 184 children, who were followed from birth, the researchers registered how many infants used a pacifier in the first 6 months of life and how the parents cleaned the pacifier. Most parents rinsed the pacifier in tap water before giving it to the baby, e.g., after it had fallen on the floor. However, some parents also boiled the pacifier to clean it. Yet other parents had the habit of putting the baby's pacifier into their mouth and cleaning it by sucking, before returning it to the baby.

It was found that children whose parents habitually sucked the pacifier were three times less likely to suffer from eczema at 1.5 years of age, as compared with the children of parents who did not do this. When controlled for other factors that could affect the risk of developing allergy, such as allergy in the parents and delivery by Caesarean section, the beneficial effect of parental sucking on the pacifier remained.

Pacifier use per se had no effect on allergy development in the child. Boiling the pacifier also did not affect allergy development in a statistically proven fashion.

No more upper respiratory infections were seen in the children whose parents sucked on their dummies, as compared with the other children, as evidenced by diaries kept by the parents in which they noted significant events, such as infections.

Saliva is a very rich source of bacteria and viruses, and the researchers believe that oral commensal microbes are transferred from parent to infant when they suck on the same pacifier. When the composition of the bacterial flora in the mouth was compared between infants whose parents sucked on their pacifiers and those whose parent did not, it was found to differ, supporting this hypothesis.

According to "the hygiene hypothesis," the development of allergy can be attributed in part to a paucity of microbial stimulation during early infancy.

"Early establishment of a complex oral microflora might promote healthy maturation of the immune system, thereby counteracting allergy development," says professor Agnes Wold who led the study.

The study, which is published in the scientific journal Pediatrics, was performed by a team that consisted of paediatricians specialized in allergic diseases, as well as microbiologists and immunologists. The research team has previously conducted large-scale studies on the gut microbiota in relation to allergy development and showed in 2009 that a complex gut microbiota very early in life reduces the risk of allergy development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Hesselmar, F. Sjoberg, R. Saalman, N. Aberg, I. Adlerberth, A. E. Wold. Pacifier Cleaning Practices and Risk of Allergy Development. PEDIATRICS, 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-3345

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507103144.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, May 7). Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507103144.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507103144.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins