ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics Says Efficacy of Pacifier Use in Decreasing Incidence of SIDS Well-known to Chiropractic Practitioners Caring for Infants

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The International Chiropractors Association’s Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics, in a response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent guideline on the use of the pacifier to reduce incidence of SIDS in infants, states that this is a measure that is well-known to the chiropractic pediatric practitioner.

The International Chiropractors Association’s Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics, in a response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent guideline on the use of the pacifier to reduce incidence of SIDS in infants, states that this is a measure that is well-known to the chiropractic pediatric practitioner.

While breastfeeding is highly recommended by the ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics as the preferable means of feeding, for infants who are not breastfed, the pacifier has always been recommended because “of the importance of the sucking reflex which increases the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) which nourishes and bathes the brain and spinal cord,” said Joan Fallon, DC, member of the ICA Pediatric Council’s Executive Committee and one of the lead instructors of its postgraduate pediatrics program.

“The CSF serves as a cushion for the brain and spinal cord, transport medium for hormones and wastes as well as provides a medium of sodium chloride, water, protein, glucose and postassium used by the brain and spinal cord. Without proper movement of the CSF fluid the child could be at risk and in neurological jeopardy. Based on the theory of 'slosh-and suck', whereby the increased CSF flow occurs during activities such as coughing, sneezing and sucking. Any sluggishness, diminished movement or impedence to the flow can cause serious problems for the neonate or infant. These CSF problems therefore could increase the potential for neurological failure such as SIDS,” Dr. Fallon said.

The ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics has been teaching the use of the pacifier to encourage sucking as a means of facilitating CSF flow for many years in its postgraduate and continuing education classes. The Council’s position is that pacifiers should not be used as a means of distraction or keeping the child from crying but rather as a means to encourage proper neurological function in the child under one year of age. Prolonged pacifier use, as well as situational pacifier use for appeasement however is not encouraged especially after the age of one.

About The ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics

The ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics is the premier pediatric organization in chiropractic that offers a 3-year academic postgraduate program in chiropractic pediatrics to doctors of chiropractic through accredited chiropractic colleges in the US and New Zealand/Australia.

For more information on the Council or for a referral to a doctor of chiropractic trained in pediatrics and pregnancy or cares for children, call 800-423-4690 or visit http://www.icapediatrics.com.

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Molly Rangnath
ICA
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