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Study: Blowing out candles spreads germs

By: WJAC Web Staff

When it comes to protecting kids against the flu, health experts have a suggestion some parents might consider overkill.

It has to do with birthday parties and the age old tradition of blowing out the candles on the birthday cake.

A recent study at Clemson University found 200 bacteria on a birthday cake before the candles, but as many as 3,000 on the cake after a child blows out the candles.

In the midst of flu season it is enough to make some parents consider an alternative.

Why not have your birthday candles on a cupcake or just have a candle sitting down, said Dr. Bert Eichold of the Mobile County Health Department. Sing happy birthday, blow out the candle and eat the food.

Australia's National Health Council came out with guidelines this week for agencies that work with children. One recommendation it made was no candles on cake.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times