Sucking is a normal, instinctive behaviour that is essential to survival. The habit is derived from a physiological need for nutrients, and is one of the first neurological reflexes to develop in humans. Generally, sucking habits during the first five years of a child’s life have little or no long term effects. If the habit persists beyond the time the adult teeth begin to grow in, numerous problems in a child’s bite may start to develop. These problems cover a wide spectrum of severity, both in terms of tooth position and jaw development. For this reason, it is recommended that parents have their children examined by an orthodontist around age seven.
Having a new baby is hard for parents that are used to organization, control, efficiency and order. Well-intended people say to relax, focus on the baby and enjoy this time, but it’s really difficult to change a basic part of one’s personality just because one has a new 7lb. boss.
We all want to give our children every advantage in order to make their lives healthy and successful. We enroll them in the best schools and programs to give them the best start we can. Yet, as a family doctor, I often face parents who either refuse or delay vaccinating their children, claiming they are acting in the best interests of the children.
Babies are at a greater risk for food-borne illness than older children or adults because of immature immune systems. So, whether you use commercial formula or food or make your own, follow this advice from the Alberta Home Economics Association's Food Safety Info Line when preparing to feed little ones
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