New research indicates that babies who are prone to ear infections should not use a pacifier, BBC News reported Friday.
A five-year study published in The Journal of Family Practice examined nearly 500 Dutch children under the age of 4. Those who used pacifiers increased their risk of getting ear infections by 90 percent.
Dr. Maroeska Rovers, who led the study, suggested that bacteria from the pacifier may migrate from secretions in the nose to the middle ear.
"Pediatricians and general practitioners can use this information in their daily practice," Rovers said. "They can dissuade parents from using a pacifier once their child has been diagnosed with acute otitis media to avoid recurrence."
Rovers and her team also suggested that once children get one ear infection, their susceptibility to future ear infections increases.