Broken teeth, bleeding gums, facial cuts. These are some of the dangers of sippy cups, bottles, and pacifiers, according to two new studies published in the journal Pediatrics. Over the course of 20 years, more than 45,000 children under age 3 were treated in emergency rooms for these types of childhood injuries. According to an article in The New York Times:
“This is the equivalent of about one child every four hours,” said Sarah A. Keim, a study author and a researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She noted that the true number is likely to be much higher, since the study looked only at children who had been taken to emergency rooms. “We expect that less severe injuries were handled by the parents themselves, or that the child was taken to a pediatrician,” she said.
I must admit, I was shocked to read about these hazards. But after reading the articles, it makes more sense. What typically happens is that a toddler who is holding a bottle or sippy cup in his mouth falls over, jamming the hard plastic into the child’s face.
The recommendation is to transition children from bottles or sippy cups to lid-less cups as soon as possible. Not that regular cups are safer, but parents are more likely to require children to sit still while drinking from a lid-less cup than from a bottle.
While most of us grew up with the admonition: “Don’t run with scissors.” For this generation, maybe the new warning should be: “Don’t walk with a sippy cup.”
To read the full story in The New York Times, click here: Sippy Cups and Other Little-Known Childhood Hazards