Pacifiers are one of the most aptly named baby paraphernalia. Well of course they are, what else do we have to thank for saving us from our baby's escapades and screams. In fact, we shall take this moment of silence to honor this one instrument that has helped us countless times to soothe our babies -- the pacifier.
But is your baby's pacifier really 'pacifying' or it is the reason why your baby started crying in the first place?
A recent study by Glass revealed that used pacifiers are home to various bacteria, yeast and mold. Oh and not the "good" kinds.
Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Micrococcus spp, Enterococcus spp are some of the organisms which were isolated in Glass' experiment.
Staphylococcus aureus is associated with clinical infectious diseases. Acute otitis media (Ear infection), Colic (Gas) are among the diseases which have been implicated in a large number of infants in as early as 4 months of life. The unsanitary pacifiers which contain a long list of disease-causing bacteria have been regarded as likely sources of the microorganisms or their metabolic products which cause acute otitis media and colic (yeah, its the annoyingly frequent gassy tummy that makes our babies cry!). The bacteria also contain specific molecules which interact with the immune system to lead to low grade systematic inflammation, leading to a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome with associated obesity and type II diabetes in the future.
Molds were also found and according to Glass, are the kinds of mold that cause respiratory distress, Asthma-like symptoms. "That was one of the most distressing parts of the whole study. We also found bacteria we did not expect that, by nature of their very being, release poisons into the system." He said.
Plenty of parents, however, are still wondering what the fuss if all about. Even brand-new moms like BabyCenter member Courtney Riggs are skeptical. The findings, she said, are just another attempt to “scare parents into another frenzy regarding baby products.” Corinne Allison, a BabyCenter member who has a 5-month-old daughter, notes that too much emphasis on cleanliness is not necessarily the best approach. “Germs are everywhere and if we constantly obsess over cleanliness and hypersanitation, we’ll be neurotic,” says Allison. “I clean the pacifier if it falls on the ground. I grab a fresh one if there are no cleaning supplies around. So far, so good.”
Of course, there are annoyingly thousands of claims out there only for the purpose of scaring us into buying a product. But this is real people! And one major reason why I think its very important to pay attention to this is because of the potential long term effects (obesity and type II diabetes) that could be caused by the 'minor' infections of today. However, before you begin to toss out all your pacifiers, you should know that pacifiers have been associated with lowering the risk of SIDS ( Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the most common cause of death in infants up to 1 year.
So clearly, there is a need to balance this. Since we cant throw it out all together we can manage it, be smarter than these bacteria. We can kill them! Yes, I said kill. A new technology, the UV light pacifier sterilizer has been developed. UV light tackles these microorganisms by destroying their DNA ( their very reason for existence!) and leaves them well, dead.
To even make it better, they have been made into small-sized portable pacifier sterilizers like this, so portable they can easily be thrown in our bags and be carried everywhere. So we can kiss goodbye to the days of lazily cleaning the pacifiers which have dropped to the floor with just a paper towel (yeah we are all guilty), as this is as easy as a solution as we can pray for!
Glass also recommends changing our pacifiers every 2 weeks, because this is the time it takes to accumulate and grow these organisms. Buying a pacifier every two weeks may not necessarily have a great effect on our wallets (I'm a huge fan of cost effective baby care!) so I've gone out of my way to obtain these pacifiers in bulk and here's the good news, I've decided to pass the discounts over to you, so you can get these not at the price of 7.99 for each but at a bulk price of $35 for 10pcs (that's $3.50 for each!)
Remember, your baby having common cold is something that could not only physically affect others in the home by spreading, but could result in keeping one parent out of work for up to two weeks. So obtaining these now not only protects our infants from these unpleasant diseases, it also saves you from a huge money loss in the future.
So be sure to take action now. You now have the knowledge and hence all the power. Use it, and keep enjoying parenthood!
Links to Useful Items:
UV Light Portable Pacifier Sterilizer (Kills 99% of bacteria in less than 8 minutes) : $65, use my coupon code: MODERN25 and get 25% off!
Glass' Original paper: http://bit.ly/Vb4DG5