The Dangers Of Sippy Cups, Bottles And Pacifiers
May 15, 2012

The Dangers Of Sippy Cups, Bottles And Pacifiers

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Every 4 hours, a child under 3 years of age is treated in the E.R. for an injury related to these products. Researchers found that from 1991 to 2010, an estimated 45,398 children were seen in hospitals for such injuries. This averages out to about 2,270 injuries per year.

A new study by researchers in the Center for Biobehavioral Health and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that baby bottles accounted for 66 percent of injuries, followed by pacifiers at 20 percent and sippy cups at 14 percent. This study, which is being published in the June 2012 print issue of Pediatrics, says the most common injured areas were the mouth, head, face or neck.

Sarah Keim, the study's co-author, feels that 86 percent of injuries were results of falls while using the product.

"Two-thirds of injuries examined in our study were to one-year-old children who are just learning to walk and more prone to falls," says Keim, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"A lot of parents baby-proof their house but don't ever think about the possibility of an injury related to these products."

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents transition their children from a bottle to a cup between 12 and 15 months of age and weaning babies off pacifiers between 6 and 12 months.

"Following these recommendations might also help reduce injury, so all the more reason to follow them," Keim said.

Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says parents will not necessarily increase their children's risk of injury if they don't wean them off bottles and pacifiers by these ages.

"I think that the normal reasons why we recommend weaning, which is that bottle-feeding has been associated with excessive milk intake, iron deficiency and possible problems with tooth decay, should be the reasons we focus on weaning," Zonfrillo told Carina Storrs of HealthDay.

Doctors say to keep your children safe from these injuries, keep them seated while using these products.