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Could Sucking Your Child's Pacifier Reduce Allergies?

Baby with soother
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you clean your baby's pacifier by just sucking on it, researchers in Sweden have good news for you.

Turns out, the process of sucking your child's pacifier before handing it back could cut allergies later on, according to a new study from Göteborg University in Sweden.

Researchers tracked 174 babies and their parents over several years, testing them for allergies, eczema and asthma, ABC News reports. They also asked parents how they typically cleaned their babies' binkies.

At 18 months old, the kids whose parents sucked on the pacis were less likely to have eczema and asthma, as well as fewer allergy symptoms, ABC News reports.

"The immune system is like an army, and if the army doesn't have anything to fight—like germs—it fights allergens," Dr. Samuel Friedlander, an allergie specialist in Cleveland, told ABC News.

Some parents, however, still might opt to wash the pacifiers instead of sucking on them—and doctors say that's OK, too.

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