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Baby Dummies - Urgent Action

The Australia Breastfeeding Association joins the call for a mandatory safety standard for dummies.

Australia babies are being put at risk as many dummies fail health and safety tests but also because of in correct use of dummies.

In the wake of findings by Choice magazine, the Australia Breastfeeding Association (ABA) today called for urgent action to ensure babies' safety and to correct the widespread misinformation about early use of dummies.

Excessive or inappropriate use of a dummy, especially in the early weeks, can compromise breastfeeding, for two reasons. Firstly, mothers may use dummies to stretch out the period between breastfeeds, thus reducing their supply of breastmilk. Secondly, dummies alter an infant's sucking technique. Dummies may cause sucking confusion for a small baby and this can result in early weaning.

ABA President Margaret Grove said the findings were very disturbing. She urged that the voluntary standard be amended to a mandatory safety standard with health warnings on dummies. Warnings should include their effect of compromising breastfeeding and therefore increasing risks to the health of infants and in later life.

'The role of breastfeeding in helping prevent obesity and various chronic illnesses in later life, and in lowering the risks of common childhood infections is well established, ' she said. 'But there needs to be attention paid to the risks dummies pose to babies' health, as well as to their safety.' Ms Grove commented.

ABA website www.breastfeeding.asn.au

 

Written by Nadia MacLeod