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Parents urged to 'Be Dummy Aware' 22.05.15

PARENTS who allow their babies to use dummies have been warned that soothers may cause speech, dental and feeding problems in young children.
A campaign to encourage mums and dads to 'Be Dummy Aware' urges parents to recognise the possible side-effects of allowing infants to use pacifiers.
The campaign, including an awareness leaflet, was launched this week by SureStart Edenballymore, an organisation supporting parents of children under four years old in Derry city.
The leaflet is also being made available to Inishowen pre-schools and creches.
As part of the new campaign, speech and language therapists have warned that children who use a dummy may be less likely to communicate effectively when they are learning how to speak.
Using a dummy may also cause excessive drooling and dribbling and have an impact on a child’s ability to chew.
"Dummies may stop your child’s tongue from going to the right place, this may cause speech difficulties," said speech and language therapist Julie Nicholls.
"A child who uses a dummy may tend to speak from the back of their mouth so the 't' sound becomes 'k' and 'tea' sounds like 'key'," she added.
Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Thomas Kerrigan, helps launch the “Be Dummy Aware” campaign at SureStart Edenballymore at Hazelbank in Derry.
The leaflet warns that, for children over one year, a dummy can cause communication difficulties; feeding and swallowing problems and may also affect the proper development of teeth.
It says children may suffer infections and tummy upset from using dirty dummies.
Ms Nicholls added: "When your child is playing, take out their dummy so they can babble and talk. When your child is upset try not to immediately use the dummy. Dummies should be a last resort.” Inishowen creches, preschools or family support groups can request a digital copy of the leaflet from Ciaran at SureStart Edenballymore on 04871 371670.

'Be Dummy Aware' tips:
- Ask your child to give their dummy to Santa or the ‘Dummy Fairy’
- Swap dummies for a special present
- Tell older children that dummies are only for babies
- Leave dummies at home when you go out
- Ask your child to remove their dummy when talking to you
- Never dip a dummy into anything sweet to avoid tooth decay
- Don’t clean your child’s dummy with your mouth to avoid transmitting germs
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