This month in the medical journal, Pediatrics, good news was announced that should keep those tails wagging! Children who were regularly exposed to dogs and cats during the first year of their life suffered less respiratory infections!
That’s right, when they looked at children who had regular exposure to dogs and cats, they found good reason to believe that the exposure offered some kind of protection against respiratory illness during that first year of life. Authors said, “Our findings support the theory that during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood.”
When my first son was born, I got nervous when he was finally able to roll off his floor blanket onto the carpet that was shared with our pets. I wish I had known then what I just learned from this really cool article. I could have really relaxed about the living space that my son and my four-legged little ones shared. It saddens me a bit when I think of all the times I shooed the furry friends away from my little guy when he could have been enjoying a fist full of fuzz and some slimy kisses. I guess now, I can be thankful for all the times neither my pets or my baby shared my concerns and managed to snuggle each other despite my attempts to keep them “safe from each other.”
While, I boast extended breastfeeding for my son’s amazing health record, it seems I may very well have to share that accomplishment with the very same animals I tried so hard to protect my son from. It seems the animals (and their ever-yank-able tails) were the only ones who ever needed protecting.