Par­ent­ing tips for chil­dren with dum­mies

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY - — Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice

THE use of dum­mies has be­come quite a di­vi­sive is­sue in some cir­cles with a num­ber of par­ents ve­he­mently op­posed, but other par­ents quite happy to have their child use them.

It re­ally is a per­sonal choice for par­ents and at this stage clin­i­cians and child health ex­perts don’t have a univer­sal opin­ion on whether dum­mies are “good” or “bad”.

What we can dis­cuss is both the pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives around the use of dum­mies so par­ents can make an in­formed choice.

So let’s jump in and ex­am­ine the is­sue.

SO WHAT’S THE ARGUMENT FOR OR AGAINST THE USE OF DUM­MIES?

For peo­ple who op­pose the use of dum­mies, they will cite con­cerns around long-term de­vel­op­ment or health is­sues. Many of those ar­gu­ments will be based on hearsay or flimsy ev­i­dence, so don’t rely on Doc­tor Google.

That said, there are some is­sues you should be aware of. For ex­am­ple, there are stud­ies that have shown that dummy use is linked to higher rates of mid­dle ear in­fec­tions.

Also, dummy use in older tod­dlers has been linked to den­tal prob­lems later in child­hood such as teeth grow­ing out of place.

In coun­ter­bal­ance, there are some health ben­e­fits to dum­mies, in­clud­ing the re­duced risk of sud­den in­fant death syn­drome (SIDS) when ba­bies use dum­mies dur­ing sleep­ing or nap­ping.

HOW ABOUT GEN­ERAL PEACE OF MIND?

On top of health and de­vel­op­ment con­sid­er­a­tions, par­ents may also need to con­sider other fac­tors that impact on the peace of the home en­vi­ron­ment.

Ba­bies who use dum­mies can be­come very up­set when they’re lost or mis­placed, be­come re­liant on them to get to sleep and if they aren’t old enough to put their dummy back in they can be­come up­set when they fall out at night.

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