Dealing with your child’s drooling habits can be difficult especially if you start to notice they haven’t grown out of it. This is a common behavior in children with special needs, and you shouldn’t feel alone when dealing with it. There are several tips and tricks you can try to make cleaning up dribble easier, as well as fashion garments that make staying dribble-free easy and stylish.
Why does it happen?
If your child does excessively dribble (scientifically known as sialorrhea), you have probably asked yourself why that is. There are a few reasons for this, but the main cause is poor muscle control in the face - specifically the mouth. Usually, muscle control will develop between the ages of 18-24 months. However, if your child shows signs of drooling, this likely indicates a problem. Excessive drooling is common in children with autism, cerebral palsy, facial nerve palsy, and polymyositis. In fact, 25-35% of children with cerebral palsy will struggle with dribbling.
Aside from poor muscle control, another reason for drooling is hypersecretion of saliva. This can be caused by the production of too much saliva, a swallowing impairment, or neurological difficulties.
Treatments such as physiotherapy or surgery are usually prescribed. But it might be a case of helping your child to practise how to swallow correctly. One tip is to avoid letting your child eat spicy foods as this can trigger saliva production.
The good news is that there are products on the market that have been created with children with sialorrhea in mind. This means they don’t have to struggle with the social effects of dribbling past a young age. The products like the neckerchiefs we stock offer protective material against dribble while being comfortable and stylish.
Care Designs’ neckerchief bibs are a fantastic accessory for both young and older children. It provides a discreet way to keep skin and clothes dry from spittle and liquids.
They also have a tabard bib available in lovely blue or pink. It is suitable for toddlers, teens, and young adults. The design is long-lasting, waterproof, absorbent, and robust.
The Funky Giraffe bandana bib is also designed for older children and is made using breathable cotton. The soft but non-fraying material offers protection against dribble and the fleece backing acts as a barrier to prevent dampness soaking through clothes to the skin.
The Mum2Mum PLUS bandanas can be easily packed away when your child is on the go. It keeps clothes clean and dry while avoiding skin irritations. High quality, functional, and compact, this bandana makes preventing dribble and spills easy.
Dribbling can make day to day life a bit more complicated but not impossible. With a combination of knowledge about sialorrhea and investing in treatment as well as accessories, your little one will be ready to take on the day without too much effort.
Sialorrhea can add time to meal times, getting dressed, and bedtime, but with the right accessories, this time can be cut in half without compromising on comfort. Check out our adaptive clothing range and accessories to make dealing with sialorrhea easier.
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Swimming is a fantastic inclusive activity to do with children with special needs. It’s a great sensory experience that is good fun and has positive benefits for both physical and mental health. It is also an activity that can be done all year round and doesn’t have to be weather dependent (depending on where you choose to swim!).