These days parents are so concerned about every little thing that even going to a birthday party becomes a three-ring circus.

Bring a snack, but make sure it's nut-free. Don't bother buying gifts, because we've packed everyone a gift bag so nobody feels left out. Things seem normal when the birthday boy's parents bring out a cake, but then they don't put in any birthday candles. What gives?

It turns out more and more parents are skipping this tradition out of concern that it will make their kids sick. The assumption is that blowing out the candles spread germs all over the cake, and that's not entirely wrong.

Earlier this year, the Journal of Food Research published a paper reporting that blowing out candles on a birthday cake increases the amount of bacteria on the frosting by 1,400 percent.

To avoid exposing their little darlings to germs, parents have been keeping candles off their cakes, or making individual birthday cupcakes instead. Inventor Michael Tropeano has has even created a sanitary cake and candle cover to keep germs off the baked goods

But doctors warn you should take the study with a grain of salt, and have their own suggestions for keeping kids safe from germs at birthday parties.

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