PARENT PICKLES: Dummies a personal choice so make it an informed one
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.
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 - waking up the whole house.
Weening an older child off their dummy after they have become reliant on it can also be a difficult and time-consuming issue.
On the plus side, sucking on a dummy does have a soothing and settling effect on babies.
So if you have an easily upset or emotional baby, it can present your family with a very welcome relief from crying.
NEXT WEEK: Dummies - how to use them and look after them
HELP AT HAND
As always, if you have further questions about this or any other health issue for your child please chat to your GP or visit our WBHHS child health team at one of our centres - the Margaret Rose Centre, 312 Bourbong St, Bundaberg.
Alternatively, call your local WBHHS child health team on:
- Bundaberg - 4150 2700
- Childers - 4192 1133
- Gin Gin - 4157 2222
- Gayndah - 4161 3571
- Mundubbera - 4161 3571
- Monto - 4166 9300
- Biggenden - 4127 6400
- Eidsvold - 4165 7100