A ground-breaking study has linked sterilising dummies with an increased risk of food allergies among infants.
Researchers followed 700 babies between the ages of six months and one year for The Barwon Infant Study and found that babies whose dummies were sterilised with an antiseptic solution were more likely to develop a food allergy.
Watch Sunrise GP Dr Ginni Mansberg discuss the study above
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found no increase in risk of food allergy at one year of age among dummy users when the dummies were washed in tap water, boiling water or not washed at all.
Centre of Food and Allergy Research investigator Victoria Soriano said the link between dummy sterilisation and food allergies warranted further research into how good bacteria in the infant mouth and gut could help prevent food allergies.
“These findings support the growing recognition of the importance of good bacteria, known as ‘microbiome’, in our mouth and gut on healthy growth and development,” she said.
However Soriano said the research “should not discourage the cleaning of dummies, as this is a vital step in keeping a child safe from the more immediate risk of infectious diseases.”
“There is also no evidence from this study that cleaning dummies by other methods is harmful.”