As the parent of a child who uses a pacifier, or binky as we call it, some new research out of Sweden has made me happy. A new study found that when parents at least occasionally cleaned pacifiers by licking or sucking them (which is the category my wife and myself fall under, by the way) rather than washing them or boiling them, their kids were significantly less likely to develop some real health problems. Here's more:

Researchers in Sweden found, as reported by The New York Times, kids who used licked pacifiers developed fewer allergies and had lower rates of eczema and asthma. They said it's more proof that exposing your kids to some amount of germs is a good thing, as it makes their bodies and immune systems tougher. They did say it was unsure whether all the benefits are a direct result of the licked pacifiers. It could be that parents who would lick a pacifier to clean it are the kind of parents who are less likely to keep their homes in a constantly sterilized state. Yes! Reason #1 I'm an awesome dad (2 if you count the sterilized house thing)....keep em' comin'!

Here's the full article from The Times