The unexpected factor that may be increasing the risk of infant food allergies
A new Victorian study has found a link between sterilising dummies and food allergies in young children.
More than 700 children were followed from birth to one year of age.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found repeatedly using antiseptic to clean dummies over the first six months was associated with higher odds of developing a food allergy.
No increased risk of food allergy was found among infants when dummies were boiled in water, washed under the tap, put in a parent’s mouth or not washed at all.
The study is the first to find a link between dummy sterilisation and food allergies, and more research is needed to confirm the findings.
About one-in-10 Australian infants has a food allergy.