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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Thumb-Sucking

THUMB-SUCKING

Knowing a few facts might put you at ease if your child sucks his fingers or thumb or even his toe. The habit is usually temporary and quite common in normal children. Sucking is a pleasant experience. If, by chance, the child’s finger or thumb goes into his mouth, he starts sucking it. The habit generally disappears by the time the child starts eating solids.

If you do not like your child sucking his thumb, start playing with him and gently take the thumb out from his mouth without making him conscious of it. If you make an issue of it, especially between the age of 9 months and 3 years, when the child is passing through a phase of negativism, you are likely to worsen the situation.


Attend To Any Emotional Factor
In some children, this habit may persist because of some emotional problem. Make sure that your child gets enough body contact from you. Breastfed children may also have this habit, though less often than artificially fed children. 

Be extra careful about making a thumb-sucking child feel secure. Give him attention when he needs it. However, you need not necessarily start feeling guilty if your child is sucking his thumb. Though emotional factors are to be kept in mind, most children continue sucking their thumb as a habit.


How To ‘Break’ The Habit

Gentle attempts to wean the child from the habit of thumbsucking are preferable to aggressive ones.

It is true that if the habit continues when the child starts regular school, we should give extra attention to this problem. Forceful sucking can lead to ulceration of the thumb and wrong alignment of the teeth. When your toddler continues to suck, tell him that he is no longer a baby and he should now leave the habit. Pat him when he stops it. If he does it again, give him a gentle reminder. Most likely, he will stop sucking his thumb during the day and later on, he might also stop at night.

Putting bitter medicine or a leucoplast on the thumb does not help much. The child may then start sucking another finger. But discuss it with your child, if he is old enough to understand — if he feels that this remedy helps to remind him not to suck, you may try it.

Whatever you do, make sure that you do not punish the child and put him to shame in front of others. Do your part in providing a secure environment and discuss the problem with your doctor if the habit starts getting on your nerves. 




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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