Is there anything cuter than a toddler learning to walk? We take such care to protect our children, we would never dream that something as simple as a sippy cup or a pacifier could cause them injury. But they can. A recent nationwide study found that in a twenty year period from 1991 through 2010, more than 45,000 children under the age of three were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups. Injuries tended to occur at home and result in cuts to the mouth and face, usually when children were running or walking. Now keep in mind, these were the children injured so badly that their parents took them to an emergency room. Imagine how many more less severe injuries were handled by parents at home or by pediatricians or dentists.
In this study, the majority of injuries involved 1 year olds. Why one year olds? By that age, most children have started to walk. Toddlers are of course, very unsteady on their feet and more likely to fall. Put a hard plastic object like a bottle or sippy cup in their mouth and well…ouch. “Two-thirds of injuries examined in our study were to one year old children who are just leaning to walk and are more prone to falls,” said the study’s co-author Sarah Keim PhD, MA, MS, principal investigator int eh Center for Biobehaivoral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “having children sit down while drinking from baby bottles or sippy cups cna help reduce the occurrences of these injuries.”
Pediatric experts encourage parents to wean their children from a pacifier or a bottle by the age of 12 months. Dr. Keim estimates that if the guidelines for stopping bottle and pacifier use had been followed “about 80 percent of the the children in the study would not have been using the product at the time they were injured”. So please…work on having your toddlers weaned from their pacifier or bottles by their first birthday. Don’t let them walk around drinking from a sippy cup, bottle or with a pacifier in their mouth.
Remember… teach your children to sit before they sip!
For further information on your child’s dental health contact us at www.MedinaFamilyDentistry.com or call our office (330)725-2242