"Especially during flu season, you light the candles on the cake, and everybody sings 'Happy Birthday,' and then the one individual who is celebrating his birthday blows on the cake, and blows the candles out," Dr. Bert Eichold of the Mobile County (Ala.) Health Department said.
isn't the first to sound the alarm.
Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council
came out with guidelines this week for agencies who work with children: no candles on birthday cakes.
Think it's overkill?
Consider a recent study at Clemson University
that found 200 bacteria on a birthday cake before the candles were blown out.
"Up to 3,000 different bacteria were found on the cake after the child blows the candles out," Eichold
not saying 'stop having birthday cakes and birthday candles and birthday parties.' It's part of growing up.
But during flu season, you might want to keep in mind a few alternatives to blowing on that birthday cake.
"Why not have your birthday candles on a cupcake or just have a candle sitting down, sing 'Happy Birthday," blow the candle out, and eat the food?," Eichold
Because the birthday girl should be getting the gifts, not giving them.
said it's usually not a big deal, but precautions like this come into play during a strong flu season.