When not to wear a thumb guard. Three activities that need guard free hands.
3 things to avoid when wearing a thumb guard
A guard to help break long-term thumb-sucking habits can help your child tackle their addiction independently. Thumb guards and finger guards work as barriers to block your child from sucking on their thumb or fingers. Most thumb guards look a little like gloves that fasten around the lower portion of the hand or the wrist. Some guards are plastic. Other thumb guards, such as ours, are made of fabric. They all work in similar ways. It is a matter of choice as to which design you choose.
I have made several posts concerning how and when your child should wear a thumb guard. Most children stop thumb sucking on their own by four years old. Four years is the vital age to stop the habit. After four years, their permanent teeth begin to emerge. Our guards are primarily for use (but not restricted to) children who have not stopped thumb sucking at this point. Continuing the practice can lead to overbite and other oral damage. It is always best to consult your child's dental practitioner regarding your concerns. If you are unsure, your dentist will confirm whether your child should benefit from wearing a thumb guard.
While some children only wear their thumb guards for bed, many more wear their guards throughout the day. Daytime sucking usually occurs because the child is prone to sucking their thumbs when feeling challenged, tired, insecure, or bored. However, there are three times where your child should not wear their thumb guard.
Be sure to have your child remove their thumb guard before eating meals or snacks. Because children explore and partake in many activities, the fabric will likely become grubby throughout the day. Your child may also get food onto the guard during their meal. Germ and dirt build ups are inevitable. Removing the guards for meals reduces the risk of contaminating food.
Speaking of germs, it is also essential to remove your child's thumb guard before using the toilet. The reason for removal requires little explanation. If your child can take themselves to the bathroom, you will need to be sure the thumb guard fastening you choose is suitable for their age and ability. Having a fastening that they can undo and do up themselves helps prevent your child from losing independence while breaking their thumb-sucking habit.
Although the guards are moisture-resistant, they will not remain dry when confronted by a basin of water. Wearing wet guards is not kind to the skin and may cause other issues to flare, such as eczema. There is also the risk that dirt and germs will find sanctity within the fabric rather than being washed away by your child.
Laundering the guards
Remember, your child's thumb guard will need regular washing. Happily, the moisture-resistant lining and cotton outer cover make our thumb guards and finger guards fast drying. You can wash the guards in your machine, although hand washing is suitable. Please also remember that fastenings on guards can be damaged by heat sources. Please do not iron or tumble dry your child's thumb guards.