Gemma Atkinson's controversial parenting decision sparks fan reaction

The former Strictly star has divided fans

Former Hollyoaks actress Gemma Atkinson was forced to explain her own parenting decision on Wednesday when she let daughter Mia suck on a dummy after it had been in her dog Norman's mouth.

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One of her first clips of the morning showed Gemma coaxing her dog Norman in order to retrieve Mia's dummy from his mouth, then in the next clip, Mia was seen with the same dummy in her own mouth. Gemma spoke out after fans replied to her and she defended her decision by saying: "They are asking if the dummy that Mia's got is the same one that Noman's had in his mouth.

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WATCH: Gemma Atkinson was forced to defend herself after fan backlash

"Yeah, I know that's rank. When she was little, I used to try and sterilise it, but now I'm like 'Ah she's fine, build her immune up. What's a bit of dog drool?'."

The following clip, Mia was seen posing in the mirror wearing a pink hat, clearly completely unfazed by the incident and no longer with the dummy in her mouth.

Gemma shares lots of updates about her sweet two-year-old Mia

So, the question is, is dog saliva harmful to babies and children?

As cited by The Guardian, dogs' (and cats') mouths do contain certain bacteria which can cause diseases in humans. While it's rare to get an infection from a simple dog lick, exposure like sharing saliva isn't a good idea.

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How should you clean a child's dummy?

If you're giving a dummy to a baby under 12 months it is wise to sterilise it first and every time it's in contact with something else, just as you would do with a bottle, and it is what the NHS recommends.

The NHS website also recommends that children should stop having a dummy from the age of 12 months.

Gorka's daughter Mia has been showing off her moves in the gym

Gemma and her fiancé Gorka Marquez are proud parents to their two-year-old and back last week the star shared an adorable clip of her toddler in their home gym.

The ultra-cute video showed Mia toddling along some crash mats, before raising her arms in celebration of her triumphant performance. Gemma captioned the video, "tumble practice with papa [heart eyes emoji]," and we all melted. Gorka was clearly proud of Mia's performance, as he reshared the video on his page.

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