Child Wellness: Binkies, bottles, and sippy cups
According to recent reports, there are approximately 2,300 ER visit by children - the reason? An accident involving their binky, bottle, or sippy cup. Marcie Fraser reports.
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A study in the journal Pediatrics found that 66 percent of mouth-related injuries were from baby bottles, pacifiers accounted for 20 percent of the injures, and sippy cups 14 percent. Injuries occurred at home, included cuts to the mouth and face, and chipped teeth and happened usually when children were running. In addition to chipped teeth or a bloody lip from the hard plastic, there are concerns regarding tooth decay.
"Some kids will have more ear infections because of the negative pressure required to suck the formula out of the bottle and some people think that drinking from a bottle may impede or retard speech development,” said Dr. Manny Cirenza, pediatrician.
Often, kids graduate from bottle to binky, which can get rather dirty and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
“You do see some children develop holes in their teeth from sucking on a binky, you may see increased incidence of ear infections. If that child has binky in mouth using it to be soothing with that all the time, they may be missing opportunities to help speech development,” said Dr. Cirenza.
Health authorities encourage parents to wean children off binkies and bottles around the time they are learning to walk. They say children should stop using pacifiers by about six months and transition from bottles to lid-less cups by one year.
And if you are a parent who is still afraid of spillage on the furniture, the doctors do recommend if you are going to use a sippy cup, be sure they are sitting down.
“They should be able to stop, take a nice drink, put it down and move on," said Dr. Cirenza.