Health Tip: Giving Baby a Pacifier

(HealthDay News) -- Pacifiers may do a great job of soothing cranky little ones, but parents should take steps to make sure their toddlers are safe.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these safety guidelines for pacifiers:

  • Never offer the nipple of a bottle (even if connected to the ring) as a pacifier, as it may pose a choking hazard.

  • Choose a pacifier that is molded together and does not have pieces that may split apart.

  • The shield on the pacifier should be at least 1.5 inches in diameter so baby cannot put the entire pacifier in the mouth. The shield also should have ventilation holes.

  • Never tie a pacifier to your child or the crib.

  • Inspect a pacifier regularly and discard it immediately if discolored or torn.

  • Make sure you offer a pacifier that is appropriate for your child's age, as recommended by the manufacturer.