Almost all infants and toddlers use bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups for supplying nutrition, comfort, and convenience, but are these products always as safe as parents think? In the study, “Injuries Associated with Bottles, Pacifiers, and Sippy Cups" in the United States, 1991-2010,” in the June 2012 Pediatrics (published online May 14), data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children treated in an emergency department for an injury caused by a bottle, pacifier, or sippy cup were examined. In the U.S., 45,398 children under age 3 were treated in the hospital emergency department between 1991 and 2010 -- or approximately one child every 4 hours. Most injuries (86 percent) occurred from falls while using the products, and 83 percent of falls resulted in lacerations or contusions to the mouth and face. Study authors also found that two-thirds of injuries occurred among 1-year-olds, an age when children are unsteady on their feet and prone to falls. Given the high number of injuries associated with using bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups, study authors recommend children not use these products beyond the intended ages, and that parents help their children transition to a cup around age 1 as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.