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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 June;64(3):303-5

language: English

Is early use of pacifier a risk factor for diarrhea?

Festini F. 1, Giusti F. 1, Paoletti E. 1, Biancalani L. 2, Poggi G. M. 1

1 Department of Sciences of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy;
2 “Ariel” Associated Pediatric Practice, Prato, Italy


AIM: Non nutritive suckling has been always used by mothers for calming and comforting infants and young children. Previous studies have suggested that pacifiers may get contaminated but only three studies have shown a possible association between the use of pacifiers and diarrhea or enteric infections. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the early start of pacifier within the first month of life is a risk factor for diarrhea in early childhood.
METHODS: Case-control study. Subjects 12 to 36 month old were recruited. Cases were children with at least 1 episode of diarrhea per year of life.
RESULTS: Among cases (N.=63), those who had started using pacifier in the first month of life were 61.9%, while among controls (N.=78) they were 29.4%, OR 3.89, CI95% 1.92-7.85. Type and frequency of pacifier hygiene practices were not associated with diarrhea.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the recommendation to postpone pacifier use after the first month of life not to interfere with the duration of breastfeeding, may have also the effect to reduce the risk of episodes of diarrhea in the first three years of life.

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