Protect Infants From Unnecessary Procedures

Target: Anne Edwards, Chief Medical Officer for American Academy of Pediatrics

Goal: Advocate for standardized plan of care for infants potentially experiencing tongue-ties.

A rapidly on-the-rise medical procedure for infants has been promoted as a godsend for some nursing mothers. Informally called tongue-tie release (and officially known as a frenotomy), the procedure involves cutting connective tissue that joins a baby’s tongue to the bottom of the mouth. In some newborns, a tongue-tie makes the child unable to experience a full range of function with the tongue. Eating, swallowing, and speaking may be impacted in limited cases, and for mothers who breastfeed the condition can cause them pain. While tongue-tie release has been used for centuries and has markedly gained in popularity, new findings cast some doubt.

Many pediatricians stress that tongue-tie releases can be beneficial, but the need for the procedure will depend on individual cases. The potential problem: many parents are seemingly receiving advice (and even diagnoses) from individuals who are not trained or qualified to evaluate the issue. And at times, the procedures are reportedly performed by individuals without the necessary specialization or absent of the needed preparations and post-procedure care. Insurance coverage is also spotty at best.

A more robust and uniform set of clinical standards regarding this procedure is needed. Sign the petition below to urge the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide crucial clarity on this divisive issue.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Edwards,

Frenotomies have a long history in pediatrics. As more parents are confronted with whether their child should undergo these procedures (and similar acts), they desperately need the right information. Professionals have sought clinical consensus on this topic, but in many areas the guidelines, resources, and availability of specialists are still sorely lacking. Meanwhile, implementation of the procedure has increased by an astounding 800 percent in just a few years.

Please work to create and promote universal standards for tongue- tie release. Help bridge this information gap for parents who just want what is best for their child.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pixabay


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