78 percent of new parents worry about their baby's exposure to germs: study

Oh, baby.

The majority of new parents polled in a recent survey agree they constantly fret about their infant’s potential exposure to germs and “dirty” things – especially when babies drop or throw things on the ground, a new report claims.

OnePoll and child care brand Philips Avent recently asked 2,000 parents of babies up to 6 months old how they felt about their little one’s potential exposure to germs, news agency South West News Service (SWNS) reports, and the results may be surprising.

The majority of new parents polled in a recent survey agree they constantly fret about their infant’s potential exposure to germs and “dirty” things.

The majority of new parents polled in a recent survey agree they constantly fret about their infant’s potential exposure to germs and “dirty” things. (iStock)

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A whopping 78 percent of participants admitted they frequently worry about their baby coming into contact with dangerous bacterium and “dirty” objects, while 67 percent said they don’t think they sanitize their child’s high-touch items often enough.

According to the findings, the average baby will throw or drop an object 168 times in one month – so it only makes sense that 76 percent of parents say they’re anxious about the cleanliness of the items their infant touches.

“Babies will drop things as they work on their coordination skills and experiment with their environments. Older infants will even drop things to get mom's attention!” Dr. Natasha Burgert, pediatrician and Philips Avent spokesperson said of the report, per SWNS. “The problem is that when infant toys, bottles, and pacifiers fall to the ground, they can get dirty and come into contact with contaminants.”

What’s more, Burgert said, new parents should be “especially mindful” of how clean pacifiers are, because they go in the baby’s mouth.

According to the findings, the average baby will throw or drop an object 168 times in one month – so it only makes sense that 76 percent of parents say they’re anxious about the cleanliness of the items their infant touches.

According to the findings, the average baby will throw or drop an object 168 times in one month – so it only makes sense that 76 percent of parents say they’re anxious about the cleanliness of the items their infant touches. (iStock)

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Meanwhile, the study found that almost half of parents believe a major misconception about pacifier protocol. Forty-nine percent of parents polled said they thought it was OK to re-use the same pacifier for more than a month, a practice which is, in fact, “discouraged.”

When it comes to keeping pacifiers clean, 44 percent of respondents said they rinse binkies with soap and water – though others admitted to some more unorthodox methods. Forty-two percent said they’ve wiped off a pacifier with their hand, while 36 percent even revealed they’ve sucked on the pacifier themselves to clean it.

“It’s important to know how to clean different items thoroughly and properly to increase their longevity and to ensure they are safe to give a baby,” Burgert stressed.

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Top items that infants throw on the ground:

Bottles: 57 percent
Food: 53 percent
Pacifiers: 48 percent
Toys: 42 percent
Blankets: 19 percent

Top places that pacifiers are dropped:

Public transportation: 51 percent
Bathrooms: 50 percent
Grocery stores: 46 percent