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(HealthDay News) -- If your child is ready to stop sucking the thumb, there are things you can do to ease the transition.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions:
Offer plenty of praise and small rewards when your child isn't sucking the thumb.
Find fun things to distract a child who sucks the thumb out of boredom.
Talk to the child's pediatrician or dentist about any problems with your child's teeth or palate. Devices can be placed in the mouth that make it uncomfortable to suck a thumb.
Talk to your child about how to quit the habit. If your child appears frightened or stressed by the notion of quitting, don't pressure the child.
Avoid punishments, speaking harshly or teasing your child about the habit.
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