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Babies who have pets are healthier
01-31-2013, 06:01 AM,
#1
Kyla Houbolt Offline
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Babies who have pets are healthier
I love articles like this! Apparently studies have shown that infants who have exposure to pet dogs and cats have fewer respiratory infections or ear infections, and the course of treatment for the infections they do get is briefer.

Here's the link to the article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247591.php

Not only do I appreciate this because it promotes a healthy relationship between families and pets, but also because it helps to counter some of what I feel has been overprotectiveness of children so that they are not "exposed" to this and that.

For some reason the effects noticed are stronger for children with dogs than for the ones with cats, but both types of pet register the effects. The suggested reason is that contact with the animals helps the immune system develop more quickly.

Which makes a lot of sense to me!
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02-03-2013, 02:42 AM,
#2
Ram Offline
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RE: Babies who have pets are healthier
This study isn't all that convincing.
First, the sample is too small.
Second, the study isn't conducted in a controlled environment either. They simply picked a few hundreds infants and did surveys with their parents.

Even if the finding is true for a much larger sample, there still could be other explanations. If you have read the reader comments, I see a few possible other causes for the study results. One of the comments said it is possible when there are pets around, the parents pay closer attention to the babies. Often time the mother is presence and the breastfeeding gives better immune system to the baby.
Another comment said it is possible the exposure to the micro-organisms on the pets made babies' immune systems stronger.

I do not know for sure, but until there is a study conducted on at least 10x larger sample in a controlled environment, I am not convinced. Sorry. Tongue
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02-25-2013, 12:02 AM,
#3
suzjbibby Offline
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RE: Babies who have pets are healthier
I would tend to think that babies immune systems are developed more quickly when exposed to pets, whether it be due to micro-organisms present or other factors. Certainly breastfeeding is an important boost to childrens immune systems but I think that the pets may also be a contributing factor.
Homes without pets tend to be more sterile environments generaly and it is my opinon that children raised in more sterile environments will have a lower immune response when exposed later. That does not mean that I condone children being raised in filthy surrondings, just that it is possible that being over zealous about cleanliness can actualy contribute to health problems
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03-03-2013, 01:36 AM,
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Yatte Offline
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RE: Babies who have pets are healthier
A lovely article, to raise awareness towards pets, and eradicate some of the myths surrounding children and pets.

I found the results of the tests a bit shaky though, they only way they could have proved that the children had better immunity, were to have blood tests done. A survey is not scientific results, and would not be excepted by the scientific community. The tests have to be done in a wider area as well, not only limited to a certain district.

Both my children were surrounded by pets since they were babies, and they get sick just as much as pet less children do. The emotional and developmental effects of having a pet should however not be forgotten. Children that grow up with pets, learn to care for things other than themselves, they also find friendship and camaraderie in their pets, and the quickly learn not to handle animals too hard and to respect them.Pets tend to make people happy, and happy people are healthier. Pets love unconditionally, the do not judge and can be comic relief, all these contribute to their owners being less stressed and thus also healthier.

Some of my friends grew up without any pets, and one of the things they say the most is: "I wish I had a pet as a child"
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05-17-2013, 03:03 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-17-2013, 03:04 AM by trishgl.)
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trishgl Offline
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RE: Babies who have pets are healthier
Although the idea of a healthier body if you have pets is still debatable what is sure is that the child can learn life lessons from having a pet. Sensitivity toward the needs of others and being responsible are lessons that can be learned from having a pet. I know that caring for a dog has made my sons are more caring toward animals.
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05-21-2013, 06:20 AM,
#6
TheBrit Offline
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RE: Babies who have pets are healthier
Probably a lot of truth about the immune system. It developes better when it has work to do, as in children stroking pets then putting fingers in their mouth.
Be careful though, if you have a new born in the house do NOT allow a cat in the room on it's own if the infant is sleeping.
Cats will jump in the cot and curl up with the baby for the warmth sometimes laying on their face with disastrious consequences.
e
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