South African Family Practice

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Safety in Bottle feeding and Safe Preparation

L Rees


Infants are born with a natural immune system from their mothers. The effectiveness of this natural immune system drops significantly over the first two months, until after 8 weeks infants begin to build up their own immune resistance to pathogenic diseases. However, during this time, their immune resistance is very weak compared with that of an adult, their being especially vulnerable to bacteria which cause diarrhoea. It is for this reason that extra care should be taken with regards to bottle feeding, sterilisation and basic hygiene practises. This special care is necessary until they are 18 months of age. Milk is an ideal breeding site for infection-causing bacteria, the warm temperature, humidity and good nutrition of milk allow the bacteria to thrive. The number of bacteria on bottles and teats is far greater than on toys and general household goods. Through thorough cleaning and sterilisation of the utensils used for infant feeding the presence of these bacteria can be eliminated.

For full text, click here:SA Fam Pract 2005;47(10):54
AJOL African Journals Online