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J Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Dec;27(6):690-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

A comprehensive review of evidence and current recommendations related to pacifier usage.

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Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH, USA.


Pacifier usage is controversial, and published recommendations are contradictory. The purposes of this literature review were to provide a comprehensive summary of risks and benefits of pacifier usage based upon the highest levels of evidence available and to provide a reference for nurses to utilize while assisting mothers in making an informed decision. Results indicated that benefits include reported ability to soothe/comfort, decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, and a probable synergistic role in adjunctive pain relief. Greatest risks are an increased incidence of acute otitis media, possible negative impact on breast-feeding, and dental malocclusion particularly if usage is greater than 2-3 years. The frequency, intensity, and duration of pacifier use are related to type and extent of all risks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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