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Home Wellness Research Breastfeeding Pacifiers Linked With Ear Infection

Pacifiers Linked With Ear Infection

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 12:28

Popping a pacifier into an infant's mouth may quell cries, but it may also up the child's likelihood of developing acute otitis media (AOM), according to a paper in Pediatrics.  The study included 490 children under 18 months of age who were cared for at 14 well-baby clinics. Clinics were matched for patient volume and patients' socioeconomic status. Intervention clinics distributed pamphlets on the hazards of pacifier use and instructed parents to limit pacifier use to moments when their babies were falling asleep. Control clinics did not provide instruction on pacifier use.

Children cared for by intervention clinics showed a 21% drop in continuous pacifier use. What's more, the experimental cohort exhibited a 29% reduced risk of AOM, compared with controls. Youngsters in both cohorts who did not use pacifiers continuously enjoyed 33% fewer AOM episodes than did children who used pacifiers continuously.

Niemela M, Pihakari O, Pokka T, Uhari M   Pacifier as a risk factor for acute otitis media: A randomized, controlled trial of parental counseling   Pediatrics 2000 (Sep);   106 (3):   483-488