Mothers Perception of Teething in Children
Teething is a physiological process which creates little local discomfort. Mothers ascribe many medical problems to teething despite no evidence to support these belief and misconceptions. The objective of this study was to determine mothers Perception of teething in Children and remedies used to manage them.
A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted on a consecutive sample of 408 mothers of children aged 3months-2years. Data was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire for the literate mothers while the investigators marked questions for those who could not read after translating the questions into Pidgin English. The obtained data were analysed using the EPI info version 6.04 and SPSS version 16.0. Statistical significance at 95% confidence interval was p value < 0.05. The chi square test of association was used where appropriate.
About 60% of the mothers were aged between 26-35 years; most mothers (84.3%) perceived teething to be associated with various symptoms while 15.7% did not. The commonest problems reported were fever (63.2%) and diarrhoea (47.5%). There was no statistically significant association between perception of teething problems and education, and age of the mothers. About 42.4% believed the symptoms were not serious and would not take the child to the hospital. Various remedies were used by mothers including 'My Pikin' teething mixture in 13.2% of cases.
CONCLUSIONMothers beliefs and attitude about teething has serious health implications for management of common childhood illnesses. There is a need for proper oral health education of mothers during the antenatal period to discourage the use of teething as a ready explanation for childhood diseases
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