Silicone Pacifier: Is it Safe for Infants?

silicone pacifiers

Being vigilant is one of the top traits a parent should adhere. This holds true especially for those who have an infant living in their household. Infants are extremely vulnerable to a plethora of things which can lead to unforeseen complications.

Pacifier and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

SIDS, also known as cot or crib death, is the immediate death of an infant that is not easily explained when they are between 1 month and 1 year of age. This occurrence claims about 2,500 infants each year in the U.S. alone. Despite years of research on the subject, it’s still unclear what is causing SIDS, although there are several ways to decrease this risk. One of which is the use of pacifier as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics after conducting a study on mothers whose infants death were attributed to the syndrome.

As this is the case, the next question is what kind of pacifier should you choose for your infant? Do you go with the latex one or the silicone-made?

Latex vs. Silicone Pacifier

First to consider is the durability of both materials. While latex is indeed softer than silicone, experts found out it’s more likely to break more easily when chewed by babies who have started growing their teeth, making your newest family member susceptible to swallowing these broken chunks and potentially block their airway’s resulting in choking.

Another point to acknowledge is that silicone retains fewer odors than latex ensuring that your infant comfort isn’t disturbed by any unwanted scents. Silicone is also easier to clean.

An article in 2009 titled “American Family Physician” showed evidence that pacifiers can harbor germs and bacteria which elevate your baby’s risk for infections, and pacifier made of latex contains the topmost levels of these contaminants.

Furthermore, ConsumerReports.org, a non-profit online magazine which tests and rates hundreds of products, suggested that parents should opt for silicone pacifiers as they can reduce the risk of their infant experiencing allergy or sensitivity to latex.

With all that being said, why is it that there are still people who believes that silicone isn’t ideal as materials for pacifiers?

Siloxane

It appears that the fear revolving around this material is attributed to siloxane, a repeating synthetic compound unit of silicone. There are specified siloxanes called D4, D5, and D6, all three of which doesn’t decompose and thus has the capability of accumulating inside your body.

Also, D4, D5, and D6 have been linked respectively to reproductive impairment on animal studies, uterine cancers, and liver and thyroid enlargement, among other things.

However, all of this has been cleared by a study in 2012 which showed that there is no detection of silicone migration into milk and infant formula after six hours of direct contact with the material. It would appear that this migration only occurs during heat exposure and fat content.

While there are still areas which haven’t been touched by experts regarding the safety of silicone on infants, it’s fair to say that this materials isn’t as dangerous as others claims it to be. And these claims grow thinner as silicone’s progress continues to advance.

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