Thumb Sucking Children Risk Speech Impairment – Expert

89115

thumb suckingA consultant paediatrician, White Waters Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Arinola Aduloju, on Wednesday said babies who suck their thumbs were likely to have a speech impairment and dental malocclusion in the future.

Aduloju said although babies usually have natural sucking reflexes, it could cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths even before birth. “Thumb sucking is a common habit in children, it makes babies feel secure while some might eventually develop a habit of thumb sucking when they are in need of soothing or going to sleep.”

”When a child sucks his or her thumbs, she tends to have some dental malocclusion problems such that the teeth might push forward and will not align as they are supposed to be in the future. Another negative effect is that it may make them have difficulty in their speech and may find it hard to pronounce some sounds that could be coming from their mouth.”

“Also, the child may be swallowing some germs because he or she puts the hand in the mouth without washing. They also tend to stay alone and eat less because they have found comfort in sucking their thumbs,” he added.

ALSO READ  Throwback Photo of the British Council Library Ibadan in 1964

However, he cautioned that mothers’ attempt to putting too much pressure on such child to stop thumb sucking would delay the process of weaning. He advised, “Instead, use a strategic idea to stop it.  Identify the reason he or she sucks. It may be due to hunger, anger, frustration and stress, then try to work on that act, luckily, it may stop them from the act.

“Don’t scold, criticise or punish your child for the act, rather promise to offer him or her gifts if he or she stops thumb sucking. For some older ones, thumb sucking is an incredibly difficult habit to break but always try and tell them the health implication.’’ According to him, sometimes peer pressure may also help them stop,” he stressed.

The experts, however, advised parents not to worry and should never put too much pressure on their children to stop thumb sucking, saying such attempt might only delay the process.

NAN

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *