A Michigan mom had one heck of a scare recently. Her baby boy swallowed his pacifier. No, I don't mean that a piece of the pacifier broke off and went down little Cameron's throat. The 5-month-old swallowed his whole pacifier, nearly choking to death!
The whole thing happened when the little guy was at daycare, and a call to 911 got the baby boy to doctors just in the nick of time. He's OK. Thank goodness!
But what does this scary story mean for moms? Should we stop giving our babies pacifiers?
In a word: no.
The doctors at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan, who Adrienne Herrick credits with saving her son's life, say they have never before seen a baby swallow a whole pacifier. Apparently it was a problem back in the '70s, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a nationwide ban on hazardous pacifiers, but the CPSC kicked in a bunch of standards that improved the safety of the baby soothers.
Doctors in Cameron's case say that one of those standards -- a requirement that there be holes that allow air to pass through in case they DO somehow get stuck -- saved the little baby's life in the bizarre situation.
The doctors say pacifiers are safe, but that doesn't mean parents shouldn't follow certain precautions when using them. If you're worried about your baby, you might want to double check that you're doing everything right:
1. Inspect pacifiers regularly for any tears in the rubber or breaks in the plastic. Even pacifiers that are discolored should be thrown out as that can represent deterioration.
2. Don't substitute anything for a pacifier made specifically for babies. A doll's pacifier, for example, does not have to meet the same safety standards.
3. Don't tie a pacifier to baby or to their crib. The string represents its own hazard.
4. Check age recommendations on the packaging. A pacifier for an infant should not be used by a toddler or vice versa.
5. Make sure the pacifier purchased meets CPSC guidelines. Among them? The shield on the pacifier should be at least 1.5 inches in diameter so baby cannot put the entire pacifier in the mouth. The shield also should have ventilation holes.
Have you ever had a scare with a pacifier? What happened?
Image via Tammy Hanratty/Corbis