Do Pacifiers Cause Sickness?


As many parents can attest, the pacifier was one of the greatest inventions for childcare.  It helps comfort your child and get can get a screaming infant to stop.  Using them at bed or nap times helps sooth and aids in their rest.  Another sometimes overlooked benefit is that, several studies have reported that pacifiers can greatly reduce the incidents of SIDS.  These studies showed a 60% or better reduction of SIDS incidents with children who used Pacifiers during sleep time.

A downfall with pacifiers is that they can become unsanitary and contain high rates of bacteria, germs and fungi.  In some studies the pacifiers tested included MRSA, the superbug that is resistant to many antibiotics.  Infants that use pacifiers also had higher incidents of ear infections and dental problems when used incorrectly.

However since they do help significantly reduce the risk of SIDS, they are still recommended but you should do the following things:

  • A pacifier should be cleaned anytime it comes out of an infant’s mouth, even if it doesn’t fall to the floor.
  • Soap and water is all you need to clean your infant’s pacifiers.  Then let air dry.
  • Bring several pacifiers with you on outings.  Carry in a clean baggie and replace with a spare when the pacifier is dropped.
  • Don’t go for the cheap pacifier.  Use ones that are sturdy and are age appropriate.
  • Discard pacifiers if the child becomes ill.  Replace to avoid reinfection.
  • Stop usage of pacifiers on children over the age of 1.

For more information on how to treat an ill or injured infant or child, considering taking a Pediatric CPR and First Aid course.

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