Use Of Sippy Cups May Lead To Speech Impediments

CLEVELAND – Parents of toddlers use spillproof sippy cups to keep their youngsters from making a mess when they drink juice or soda, but there's new information that the cups might have a negative side effect, 19/43 News' Rick Jackson reported.

Speech pathologists everywhere are rushing to tell parents that they should be more concerned with how much their toddlers use sippy cups because the cups might make it harder for the children to learn to speak clearly.

A valve inside the cup only releases fluid when the child sucks on it. Speech doctors said that it's how the child draws the fluid in that creates the problem. They said that it's much different than sucking a bottle or a nipple, which both help the natural development of tongue muscles.

"I can see where they might impair the speech," concerned parent Amy Meese said.

Brendon is only 9 months old, but his mother, Bridget Rubel, said that she understands how parents can fall into the trap of too much sippy.

"How else are you going to teach them to drink from a cup without making a mess?" Rubel said. "That's what sippy cups are for."

Cup producers are making a fortune because parents believe that sippy cups are a learning tool. They raked in more than $30 million last year alone in sippy sales.

Dentists have weighed in as well, saying that sippy cups cause cavities if only because children can suck juice and soda all day long.

Experts said that sippy cups are OK for children up to the age of 4, but after that it's a no-no.