Your Healthy Family

Nov 5, 2012 9:42 AM by Marissa Torres

Bacteria covered binkies

Pacifiers can help soothe a crying infant, but now new research suggests they can also provide babies with bacteria.

Parents- how many times you have dropped a pacifier back into the mouth of a crying infant after it's dropped onto the ground? It's very common, but new research shows those binkies can be covered in bacteria.

"The pacifier is a potential reservoir for germs that will make you sick," says Dr. R. Thomas Glass with Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Dr. Tom Glass and colleagues at Oklahoma State University did a small study of 10 used infant pacifiers. They looked clean, but under a microscope -- they found microbial contamination -- mold and staph bacteria.

"It may look solid in your hand, but when we look at it under the scanning electron microscope, it looks like a sponge."

No studies have proven that a dirty pacifier can lead to actual illness. but most experts agree parents should replace them at least monthly -- even if they're cleaned and sterilized after every use.

"It's cheap medicine to discard your pacifiers every two weeks."

 

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