Study: Pets May Make Kids Healthier

Although many new parents worry about allowing pets near their infant, a new study says dogs and cats may have a positive effect on a child’s developing immune system.

In fact, “children who have a dog or cat or are around dogs and cats during their first year of life are reported to be healthier and have fewer respiratory infections than children without contact to these animals,” according to a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, also found kids living with dogs early in their life had fewer respiratory and ear infections. They also needed a shorter course of antibiotics.

Babies growing up around cats enjoyed a similar protection but not as great as those who lived with dogs.

Researchers noted that the study finds a correlation but does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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