Cuffed Baby Guards - the thumb guards with staying power.


Cuffed Baby Guards – your questions answered

In 2021, following numerous requests from desperate parents of babies with very sore thumbs, we designed and created our cuffed baby guard. Of course, we cannot guarantee infants will keep our guards in place. However, feedback from those who have tested the design has been encouraging. While similar in design to our standard thumb guards, the addition of the extra wrist cuff has been a game-changer for many babies who might otherwise have pulled the guard off. But why do some babies need thumb guards, and how do they work?

Should I stop my baby from thumb sucking?

One of the most common questions parents and carers ask regarding babies and thumb sucking is 'should I stop my baby from sucking his or her thumb?' In general, the short answer is no. Certainly not for young babies. However, exceptions arise when there is damage to the skin on your little one's hands due to constant contact with saliva.

How does saliva damage my baby's skin?

Persistent or vigorous thumb sucking may cause your little one to experience sometimes severe or uncomfortable skin problems on their preferred thumb. Exposure to saliva for prolonged periods makes the baby's delicate skin vulnerable to injuries, mainly when the skin dries out and cracks. The cracked skin then bleeds. Such open wounds are the perfect environment for infection to enter.

While it is a less common side effect, Paronychia is of particular concern for many parents. The infection can be acute, which means it lasts less than six weeks, or chronic, which means it lasts longer.

You can identify Paronychia when you see inflammation, pus, and tenderness around the nail area. This painful infection (also known as whitlow) occurs when there is a break in the skin around the nail plate, allowing bacteria to enter the eponychial space. While Paronychia is not usually serious and is treatable at home, occasionally, a deeper infection requiring a doctor's intervention may develop.

Does thumb-sucking cause other injuries besides dry, cracked skin?

Unfortunately yes. Although less common in infants, moisture from the mouth coupled with the pressure from thumb sucking can damage the thumbnail, causing it to ingrow, become brittle and sometimes peel.

What should I do if my baby's skin becomes damaged due to thumb-sucking?

Suppose your child experiences major skin problems due to thumb sucking. In that case, you may need to discourage the behavior by bandaging the affected thumb or using another suitable covering. You should avoid painting your baby's sore thumbs with bitter substances to deter sucking.

How can thumb guards help?

When it comes to covering and protecting damaged thumbs, thumb guards are a viable option to try. We line our thumb guards with soft, breathable, moisture-resistant fabric. The lining helps keep saliva away from the skin if little ones attempt to suck the guards. The lining also reduces the likelihood of the skin sweating within the guard or becoming irritated. We use these fabrics for both our standard and our cuffed baby guards.

Why do I need a cuffed guard when the standard guards have the same fabrics?

Because we designed the thumb guards to be used independently by older children, we cannot guarantee that babies will wear the thumb guards. Little ones do not understand the need for the guards and will often pull them off, just as they would mittens or socks. Although not impossible, our guards with the extra cuff make it much harder for a baby to pull them off.

How do cuffed guards work?

The standard cuff has a hook and loop fastening to adjust the fit. We firmly stitch the extra cuff onto the palm side of the thumb-guard. The wrist cuff has a separate fastening from the hand portion of the thumb guard, but both fasten on the back of the hand or wrist. It is recommended but not essential to position the cuff beneath the sleeve of your baby's garments to prevent your little one from undoing the cuff.

 Due to the fastenings,  pulling the glove portion of the guard does not effectively tug the cuff portion for removal. Equally, because the cuff stays in place, it adds anchorage to the glove of the guard, making it much harder to pull from the hand.

Can I have different fastenings?

Yes, although we make our cuffed thumb guards with a button on the hand portion and hook and loop on the cuff, you may exchange these for other fastenings we have available. You may also request alternative fastenings. We will do our best to create the guards with the fastenings of your choice.

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