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Do you just not care about what your babies or toddlers put in their mouths because well, they have all been doing it and have been okay? I definitely am guilty of this, I mean if I cared about everything my little baby put in her mouth, there wouldn't even be a minute left to focus on the more seemingly important things in my baby's life or even to steal some time to sleep, and truthfully it would be a futile attempt not to talk impractical. However some few weeks ago, I came across something, that I believe you just might see useful too! I came across an article on how some items that inevitably end up in my baby's mouth are breeding grounds for some very ugly bacteria. Wanna guess my first honest reaction? "What a false scare! These people have come again" was what I thought. But as a scientist which I am, my curiosity and if I'm being completely honest, the love I have for my baby didn't let me exit without reading it. As I read through it, it wasn't just a false scare to me anymore. It ministered to my scientific soul. It showed facts, truth, years of research, thorough intelligence, and i knew it wasn't to be ignored. So, enough of my story, I'll just get right into it. Here's what i think you might also like to know.
The environment, mixed with saliva, mixed with room temperature serves to be a gift to various forms of bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumonia are some of the few. All these factors seem to combine perfectly on a pacifier and a lot of the other things that enter the mouths of babies on regular basis. As the bacteria find their home and favorable habitat, they grow and multiply more and more, forming colonies and expanding their territory. They expand their territory into any close habitat that is of course also favorable. Thus, as you might have guessed already, once a baby sucks on this, it goes right into their cute little gut, and a series of reactions starts from there.
When bacteria multiplies so much in the human body to cause adverse effects, the term infection as we know it is applied. One major reason why the body is such a wonderful masterpiece, is the way it is wired to contain and fight these infections. When an infection occurs, a process called inflammation occurs. It is manifested as swelling, pain, heat and redness. It is really your body saying 'Invader!, Invader!, War!, War!'. A lot of times, your body wins. The soldiers responsible form what we call the immune system. So you understand why immune deficient states like that in HIV patients, cause them to react to even the slightest bit of infection and could even result in death.
If the body is such a victorious battle ground, Why then am I telling you this?
Diseases generally occur because of one of two things. A deficiency or reduction of some substance, or a surplus of these things. Each organ of the body is like a soldier with no head. The parietal cells of the stomach which secrete too much HCL in Peptic ulcer disease or acid reflux disease, don't have eyes of their own to see and think, oh hey, these are my sisters, the other cells of the stomach, alright I won't hurt you, go in peace. Because of this, there is a very small window of regulation, such that if ANY given substance exceeds or reduces in quantity from this value, it results in a war of the body against itself, and causes what you know as a disease.
OK, So What?
Babies have a very primitive immune system. So, they react in a big way to little things. When these bacteria find their way into the body of a child, they are dealt with, but because the body is still in a primitive, learning or adaptative stage, it 'learns' to always give an exaggerated response and stays in that hyperactive mode. This actually sounds good, only well its not. Here's why:
Hypersensitivity reactions form the basis of a number of major illnesses, including asthma and coronary artery disease.
Have you ever noticed that one spot that you scratch a lot on your body? You scratch, it heals, you scratch, it heals, you scratch, it heals... What happens after that occurs 10 times? The area develops a thick fibrosed skin layer, that lacks elasticity and luster. That is exactly what happens in this case. An hypersensitive state causes the body to react to almost any thing and every thing. It is usually an exaggerated response, like an asthma attack. Its occurrence over time, just like the scratch and heal situation, results in the area of the body becoming fibrosed. An alteration of any form in the body results in diseased states. If it occurs in the upper respiratory tract, it results in asthma, if it occurs in the cardiovascular system: the heart, and blood vessels, it results in coronary artery disease.
Does this mean every baby who has sucked on a pacifier would have a heart problem?
NO! However, this process occurs nevertheless. No feelings attached, it simply follows the law of cause and effect and will almost always occur once there is a trigger. So no, not every baby involved would have a heart problem, thankfully, but their chances are greatly elevated.
Coronary artery atherosclerosis is the single largest killer of men and women in the United States. It is the principal cause of coronary artery disease (CAD), in which atherosclerotic changes are present within the walls of the coronary arteries. CAD is a progressive disease process that generally begins in childhood and manifests clinically in middle to late adulthood.
Approximately 14 million Americans have CAD. Each year, 1.5 million individuals develop acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the most deadly presentation of CAD, and more than 500,000 of these individuals die.
What is the practical solution here?
I am not about to start washing my baby's pacifier each time it touches the ground, no one's got time for that! But I cannot just not do anything also. This topic is not a scare. It's a topic that appealed to my common sense. Yes, not 100% results in CAD, but it would cause a slightly more active immune response in 100% and I am not about to let my child be a part of some statistic or scientific experiment. So Here's what I invested in: PACIFIER STERILIZERS!!!
Thank Goodness these were invented. You won't believe how happy I was when I found them. My first thought was to change pacifiers every two weeks, or try to wash it each time it fell but honestly, I couldn't get myself to do this. This holy grail however doesn't require any effort whatsoever, or time! All I have to do to sterilize is place the nipple into it and leave for 8 minutes, that's all! I have not regretted my investment ever since. It also gave me some things that money cannot buy: Satisfaction, a sense of responsibility, and elimination of guilt or worrying. Just by doing this, I'm making sure my baby's immune system acts at a normal rate and ensure she doesn't handle more than she should. May I also mention at this point that it is so portable, so you can easily throw this into your bags! Take note that no matter what, microbes still exist in the environment and would still find their way into their little systems and ours, but the difference is, that is just the healthy amount they need.
If you have a little child you care for, or you know a person who has a little child you care for, I deeply encourage you to invest in this. This is one thing that was worth my money. It was absolutely worth it for me!
I hope this was a time well spent for you. I look forward to sharing more of my findings concerning caring for my baby and making the most out of parenting with you!