Ask The Pediatrician: Bottle Safety

They're convenient, provide comfort and nutrition to your kids, but bottles, binkies and sippy cups may not be as safe as you think. Find out why in this Ask The Pediatrician report.

It's doctor day for two of the four Hernandez boys and as always - mom's prepared. The brothers are enjoying their visit but two-year-old Victor wasn't all smiles when he recently took a tumble with his bottle.

Mom, Rosa, said, "He was running. He tripped and he cracked his teeth."

Dr. Michelle Mogenson says bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers are typically very safe until your little ones become mobile.

"When they're first starting to walk, they are very unsteady and they fall a lot, " said Dr. Mogenson.

A fall is one thing, but falling with a bottle or sippy cup in their mouth not only hurts, it causes injuries.

Dr. Mogenson said, "They can get cuts, bruises, sores in their mouth from falls. They can, you know, sustain face injuries."

For parents who don't think this is a problem, just ask doctors at any emergency room. More than 45,000 children under the age of three ended up in the E-R between 1991 and 2010.

Dr. Mogenson makes sure she talks to parents about the dangers.

She says, "Drinks, I would keep them only in the kitchen so they know when they want to drink, they know they have to go to the kitchen and sit down to drink."

There are other easy ways to prevent accidents. First, don't let your child run around with a bottle, sippy cup or pacifier in their mouth.
Second, when the doctor recommends it's time to give up the bottle, take their advice.

With four little boys, mom knows the transition to a big boy cup won't be easy.

"They spill everywhere on my carpet," said Hernandez.

But she knows for safety's sake, it is worth it.

Dr. Mogenson says the best thing parents can do is start making the transition early. When your baby starts eating baby food, introduce lidless cups with water so if they spill it's no big deal. You can also encourage cup use by having them pick out a special cup and put their favorite drink in it. It also helps not to get upset if they spill. It's just part of that learning process.

About the Author...
Serese Cole
Serese is no stranger to the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas City and after years of moving from state to state - has called Nebraska home the last decade.
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