Choosing the right kind of treat for your child can be challenging. You want it to be an actual treat for her without being destructive or dangerous. Suckers are an option for some children but parents should consider their children's needs before deciding if it is the right choice for their family.
Suckers are another term for lollipop -- a type of confectionery on a stick. Like most sweets, they are popular with children and even young toddlers want to suck on them. Suckers come in limitless shapes, sizes and colors from small ones that are found in treat bags to large, rainbow candies that are as big as a child's head.
Choking is the main reason suckers are considered dangerous. Young children can choke on the stick but even older children can choke if they are running with the sucker in their mouth and fall. The stick can also do damage in the mouth if they hit their face as they fall. All children should sit still while they eat suckers but children under the age of 5 should not be given suckers. Consider purchasing suckers with safety handles. These are flexible papery loops that collapse under pressure.
Suckers are a guilty pleasure when it comes to tooth decay. They stay in the mouth for a longer period of time than other treats and can get stuck between the teeth. It is best for all children, regardless of their age, to have suckers only as an occasional treat. Young children who do not brush their teeth well shouldn't have suckers are at all.
If the concern with suckers is cavities, a new type of sucker is out on the market that actually fights cavities. These suckers are made from herbs and have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight cavities. They are sugar-free and use an extract from licorice roots. To avoid choking, give children soft treats that are easy to eat like ice cream or a cookie. Limit the treats as much as possible and have them sit while they eat.
- International Journal of Oral Science: Development and Evaluation of a Dafe and Effective Sugar-free Herbal Lollipop that Kills Cavity-causing Bacteria
- Michigan Live: Study Affirms Grand Rapids Company's Lollipops Can Help to Fight Tooth Decay
- KidsHealth: Preventing Choking
- University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Nutrition and Oral Health
- HealthyChildren.org: Healthy Teeth and Your Child's Diet
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