Psychologist has urged parents to stop kissing their children on the lips
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@davidbeckham/@hilaryduff
A psychologist has spoken out to urge parents to go against the celebrity trend of kissing your children on the lips, warning it could have harmful effects on their development.
Charlotte Reznick is a licensed child educational psychologist, former UCLA associate clinical professor of psychology and author.
She has previously commented on the longstanding trend of celebrity parents posting photos of themselves kissing their children on the lips.
Hilary Duff caused an internet storm in 2016 after putting up a photo of her kissing her son Luca on the lips.
While the photo racked up more than a quarter of a million likes, there were also dozens of comments saying a mother shouldn't be kissing her child on the lips.
One person wrote: "You should not kiss your son like that. There's other ways to show love but not that one. It's confusing for him, it's not healthy."
The trend sparked an emotional debate about the implications this gesture could have - even with innocent intentions.
Reznick told the Sun in 2015: "If mommy kisses daddy on the mouth and vice versa, what does that mean, when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parents on the mouth."
It's worth pointing out that not all psychologists agree with Reznick, with Australian clinical psychologist Heather Irvine-Rundle describing her comments as 'an outrageous thing to say to parents'.
However, there's also the issue of passing on bacteria.
One dentist advised that parents should refrain from kissing children on the lips before their baby teeth have developed, as it could damage their pearly whites.
“Baby teeth have a different type of enamel and dentine to adult teeth,” Dr Richard Marques, celebrity dentist at Wimpole Street Dental in London, explained to The Independent.
As well as spreading colds and other infections via saliva transfer, it can also 'cause decay of baby teeth' and 'affect the soft tissues and gums before the baby teeth have developed', Dr Marques said.
"While adults may be able to handle the microbes in their mouths, children with weaker immune systems are more vulnerable to harmful infections," he continued.
Meanwhile, social etiquette expert Liz Brewer says that while she personally doesn't think it's a good idea to kiss kids on the lips, it's ultimately up to the parents.
Responding to Victoria Beckham being pictured kissing her daughter Harper in 2016, Brewer told the BBC: "With children, I wouldn't have thought it's a particularly good habit to get into, but it's her child and she's at liberty to do what she thinks is best."