Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Ever wonder if having a pet affected respiratory symptoms and infections during the first year of a baby’s life? Recently reported in the journal Pediatrics, researchers say that babies who grow up in homes with a cat or a dog are less likely to get sick than children without pets.
Alice Park (@aliceparkny) of TIME posed the question I too wondered; how exactly do pets protect against these diseases? In her July 9, 2012 editorial “Study: Why Dogs and Cats Make Babies Healthier,” she explains that the answer is “not entirely clear, but researchers think that exposure to pet dander, as well as the microbes that pets carry into the home from outdoors, could prime babies’ still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs, such as from animals or other bacteria and viruses.”
Despite the news about Fido and Max, it’s probably not necessary to get a pet to fight infections if you don’t already have one. The complete study was published online July 9 in the journal Pediatrics.
Did you have a pet growing up? Were you sick less than your friends who were pet-free?