Graduate Kids Sooner to Lidless Cups

Pacifiers bottles and sippy cups responsible for many kids emergency room injuries

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) What hazards lurk around the home for your baby or toddler? Some of them may be the very items you bought for your child, such as pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups.

A recent study has found that some of the most common injuries that send children to the emergency room occurred because of accidents related to pacifiers, sippy cups and bottles.

"Your child should be seated and still when using bottles and sippy cups."

Lead author Sarah Keim, PhD, of the Center for Biobehavioral Health in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues assessed the frequency of injuries associated with bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups over nearly a decade.

Keim's team used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children under three years old who were treated in emergency departments between 1991 and 2010 for an injury related to a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup.

They estimated that 45,398 children under 3 received treatment for injuries resulting accidents with these common children's supplies.

At an average of 2270 cases a year, that works out to be about 6 ER visits a day across the country for accidents with these objects. Most of the children injured were one-year olds, and children aged 1 or 2 were more than 3 times likely to get cut from the accident.

In fact, the most common injury sustained from these accidents were cuts, which occurred in 70 percent of the cases, mostly on the child's mouth.

The majority of the injuries, 66 percent, occurred with bottles, followed by the 20 percent caused by pacifiers and the 14 percent caused by sippy cups.

In 86 percent of the cases, the injury occurred when the child fell while using the object, such as tripping with a pacifier in their mouth or toppling over while drinking from a bottle. Only a little over 4 percent of the cases involved a product malfunction.

"Children who are just learning to walk and run are at the highest risk of these injuries," the authors wrote.

"Parents might consider the potential for injury in deciding when to help their child give up the pacifier and transition to a cup. Encouraging children to remain seated while drinking may also reduce injury risk."

The authors concluded that more people need to be following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding use of bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups.

These guidelines include introducing children to lidless cups as they approach one year old and weaning children from a bottle between 12 and 18 months old. The AAP recommends that pacifiers only be used until a child is six months old.

The study appeared online May 14 in the journal Pediatrics. No external funding was used for this study, and the authors declared no conflicts of interest.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 14, 2012
Last Updated:
July 10, 2012