Thumb-sucking: Child Development

admin   March 5, 2011   Comments Off on Thumb-sucking: Child Development

Anything which reaches the mouth in early infancy is likely to elicit a lucking reflex. The fingers are placed in the mouth by random movement at first, and later on by intent. Most infants will indulge in thumb-sucking during the 1st months of life, but for many the practice is transient. Equivalent activities include sucking of other fingers, a rubber nipple, a pacifier, or the corner of a smooth blanket which serves as a transitional object. Such activities may persist beyond infancy and are most likely to occur when the child is sleepy. They may also be practiced when the child is Ps. ill, or under stress.

Parents may need reassurance that this activity is normal. If the activity itself does not become an issue between parents and child, the youngster is more likely to give it up spontaneously.

If thumb-sucking is practiced persistently and intensively , especially as the eruption of permanent teeth approaches, it may cams            malocclusion. In general, it is more useful to search for the underlying cause of insecurity or other internal stress rather than attempt to halt the practice by physical restraint. When thumb-sucking is a manifestation of inner tension, treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause.

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