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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 125-130

Perception of mothers in Owerri, South-East Nigeria about teething in infants

1 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kelechi Kenneth Odinaka
Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_16_20

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Background: Teething is a natural and physiological process in growing infants. It is one of the major milestones in the development of the child and has been attributed to cause a myriad of problems to the infant. Aim: This study sought to determine the knowledge, beliefs and practices of mothers from Owerri, South-East Nigeria on childhood teething. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study that involved 127 mothers who attended the infant immunisation clinic of Federal Medical Centre Owerri over 3 months from September to November 2018. Results: Fifty-one (41.7%) infants had the eruption of the first tooth on or before 5 months of age. A good proportion 111 (87.4%) of mothers believed that tooth eruption in infants will come with illness, while 55 (43.3%) of the mothers had in the past experienced symptoms with teething in their babies. Seventy-three (57.5%) of the mothers use medications as prophylaxis for teething-associated problems. Mother's education did not significantly influence the use of teething prophylaxis (31.4% of mothers with tertiary education administered medications to their children during teething compared to 54.2% of mothers with lower educational background, P = 0.094, χ2 = 6.392). Conclusion: Mothers in Owerri, South Eastern Nigeria irrespective of their educational status still have wrong perceptions and beliefs about teething and majority routinely administer medications for presumed teething problems.

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