As a parent of now school-aged children, I can look back and admit that my kids used pacifiers fairly frequently and sippy cups were a staple until they were old enough not to dump a drink all over the carpet.
According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, however, these commonly used items, along with bottles, have caused significant injuries among children in the U.S.
The research detailed that approximately one child (under the age of three) was treated in hospital emergency rooms approximately every four hours. The study covered the years between 1991-2010.
Most injuries (86 percent) occurred from falls while using the products, and 83 percent of those falls resulted in lacerations or contusions to the mouth and face.
Study authors also found that two-thirds of injuries occurred among 1-year-olds, an age, they surmised, when children are unsteady on their feet and prone to falls.
Ultimately, the researchers recommend children not use these products beyond the intended ages, and that parents help their children transition to a cup around age one as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Given these numbers, I wondered if it would change a parent's mind about using such products or at least caution them about relying on them too much. I asked two new parents what they thought about the study and their impression(s) of the findings.
Adam Weng, father to five-week-old daughter Sofie, says it did give him some food for thought but he'll probably stick to his families' own plan. "As a new parent, my wife and I rely on pacifiers only as a last resort. Although a baby might not be hungry, she still needs the sucking action to help soothe her. While we don't plan on using pacifiers too many years we will continue to use them for this purpose only."
Related: How Old Is Too Old For a "Paci"?
Rebecca Jalbert, new mom to son Thomas James, says she takes the study results with a grain of salt and will continue to use her own discretion.
"I personally don't agree with them. I think that children fall when they start walking or standing up. When my son starts walking I'm not going to hand him a bottle, a sippy cup or a pacifier as I don't want his attention to be focused on the object I am giving him.
Children are going to fall regardless. They could have a toy they are holding which might make them fall. Are they then going to say they should not have toys at a certain age?"
What do you think of the study and does it give you cause for concern?
- Top 10 Pediatric Myths
- Jamie Lynne Grumet Defends Her Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover
- Is Crying Out Dangerous for Kids?
- New Ways to Read to Your Kids