Experts say that using a pacifier may help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But that doesn’t mean those binkies are risk-free. In fact, a viral post on Facebook is alerting parents to the fact that using a pacifier past a certain age might actually be dangerous for your child.
Mom Stephanie McGuire took to Facebook recently to let her friends and family know about a very scary experience that happened in her household. Her son Kaiser awoke from a nap screaming and very upset. Even after he finally stopped crying, he just wasn’t himself. His parents couldn’t figure out what was wrong — until Stephanie looked in his crib and made a shocking discovery.
As she relates in the above Facebook post, Stephanie discovered that Kaiser had seemingly bitten through his pacifier while he was sleeping. While she found most of the pieces, she believes he may have swallowed part of it. And this terrifying experience seemed to have left him shaken and distraught long after he woke up.
Now, she’s warning other parents to be very careful about letting their babies and toddlers use pacifiers once they have teeth.
“Yes there are warning signs not to give a paci to a teething baby/toddler but I never in a million years thought this would happen,” she writes. “I want to share my story as there are a million other moms out there who give their babies and toddlers with teeth pacis.”
As the Facebook post has been shared and liked by fellow moms, many have chimed in to offer Stephanie their support and thank her for her message.
The Mayo Clinic, meanwhile, has even more advice for those who give their kids pacifiers. They advise parents to use pacifiers that are silicone and dishwasher-safe, and they warn that two-piece pacifiers could break and pose a choking hazard.
“Buy pacifiers that are one piece,” reads the American Academy of Pediatrics website. “The two-piece models can come apart and pose a choking hazard. NEVER tie a pacifier to your child’s crib, or around your child’s neck or hand. This could cause a serious strangulation injury, even death. When your child reaches one year of age, you may want to talk with your pediatrician about how — and when — to start weaning your child from the pacifier.”
In addition to posing a choking hazard, pacifier use in older toddlers can also impact their teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that prolonged use of pacifiers can lead to dental issues down the road. Dental experts advise encouraging your child to quit the pacifier habit by age 2, or at least by age 4 (when “pacifier teeth” symptoms become a much greater risk).
It’s also a good idea to routinely check children’s pacifiers for tears that may lead to the tip breaking off in their mouths.
Have you weaned your child from their pacifier yet?