The above script is part of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,'
which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
Parents who let their small children chew gum may want to rethink that practice. The AAP recommends that gum not be given to children who are too young to understand that they shouldn’t swallow it.
In fact, a study found that repeatedly swallowing gum can cause health
problems including diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, mouth ulcers, and
dental and jaw problems. It can also cause choking and block the intestines. One study highlighted the case of a 4-year-old boy with a two-year history of constipation. After many tests and treatments, doctors had to remove a blockage, which largely consisted of chewed gum. Turns out the boy always swallowed his gum. Doctors had to perform the same procedure in the case of a 4-year old girl who suffered from terrible constipation. That child also swallowed her gum, often just to get another piece. So before you give your child gum, make sure she knows only to chew - and never to swallow.