London - Mothers who suck dummies to clean them have children with fewer antibodies linked to asthma and food and dust allergies, a study has found.
While it might be frowned upon, it could be beneficial for babies.
It may be because parents transfer their own bacteria to their child’s mouth, helping to boost their immune system.
Researchers led by US healthcare firm Henry Ford Health System asked 128 mothers how they cleaned dummies.
Then they tested the infants’ blood. Lower levels of immunoglobin E antibodies, triggered when children have allergic responses, were found in infants whose parents used their mouths instead of tap water or sterilising.
The study, presented at a Seattle meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found one in eight sucked their child’s dummy.
Just over two in five sterilised, boiled, steamed or put it in the microwave or dishwasher. Most, or 72 percent, rinsed it.Daily Mail