Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chewy Tubes for Children

I thought I would write a little more about Chewy Tubes and chew toys for aggressive chewers. In a prior post I talked a little about why kids chew on their clothes. Nancy brought up another good point, and that is there could be a biological reason behind a child chewing, including pica. This wasn't the case w/ our son, but it is another thing to investigate as a parent.

I want to reiterate that I'm surprised that parents give their children animal toys to chew on. These toys don't have the same rigorous testing that products designed for people have to go through. Also, there are so many options to choose from in terms of chewing items no one should have to resort to an animal chew toy.

So to help you choose a chewy for your aggressive chewers here is a brief intro to Chewy Tubes and more...

The Chewy Tube, designed by speech pathologists, different colors represent different diameters of the chewy tube. Yellow is the thinnest and blue is the thickets tube. P's & Q's are their cheap chewy. They are latex free, non-toxic, and my son loved them.

The Grabber XT is one tough chewy. They are a lifesaver for aggressive chewers. The rounded handle makes it easy to hold. They also have textured Grabbers and regular grabbers, and they are a little bit cheaper than a chewy tube.

There is a new kid on the block called Chew Stixx. So far I haven't heard anything positive or negative about them, but they look very interesting. Because my son isn't chewing like he use to, thanks to Sensory Integration therapy, I can't give you any personal feedback. If you use them, let me know what you think!

The ChewEasy Chewy Tube. This is cool, its a chewy tube attached to a coil cord with a clip. So its easy to clip on and keep track of. A nice idea for kids who tend to loose things.

Exercise Tubing or Refrigerator Tubing, this is what therapists suggested kids chew on all the time. Now w/ the phthalates concern and latex concerns it's not considered a good option. Also, they were not designed for chewing and may or may not meet FDA guidelines.

Chewy Pencil Toppers: These fit over the end of a pencil so a child can chew while sitting in class. They are sturdy, but not reusable in that once the top goes on a pencil it stays there so you can't transfer them to another pencil. However, because they are clear they are a little less noticeable.

Now there are also chew toys, most of these you can get at K-Mart, Toys R Us, or Target:

The Hand and Foot teether: you can find these in almost any store. They are easy to hold and durable.

Knobby Teether Ball: Easy to hold with lots of knobs to chew on. It also works great as a fidget. So you get more bang for the buck.

Razbaby Razberry Teether: This is a teether not a pacifier they are sturdy and have interesting textures and they are silicon based.

The Massaging Action Teether: Great for chewing and it provides vibration for lots of oral stimulation.

Play & Grow Flutterbug: I saw this at Kohl's and it's awesome, lots of textures and it vibrates as well. It looks great for younger kids.

Anyhow I could go on and on and on! My point is there are lots of safe options out there now. I didn't even go into chewable jewelry ... I hope this helps you make a good choice for your child. If you need to buy some chewy items I hope you will visit our Autism Shop!


louise said...

hi i was reading your item about chewing , i find i chew things but never used to started when i bwcame an adult most of my clothes have bite marks, try as i might i cant stop i have also had terrible trouble aas have ruined my teath by grinding them non stop i would like to know is their any thing i cando to help stopthisniimand

Bonnie said...

Hi Louise I'm so glad you posted. I have a few ideas. There are a couple things you can do. First go to a Dr. and talk about it. There is something called Pica and you want to rule that out.

Next think about when you do it. Does it calm you down? If chewing is calming you may need to learn some other calming techniques. One is tensing your muslcles then relaxing. So you can make a tight fist with your hands then relax them. Squeeze the palms of your hands together then relax them. It takes time to retrain your body. A chewying item like Teething bling looks just fine on adults. I know some people who also wear chewing bracelets.

At the dentist you can get custom fit teeth guards. They are thin plastic molds that you can wear to protect your teeth from grinding. Many people wear these at night because they grind their teeth in their sleep.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Boonie, I need to know why The little boy I babsit chews on his clothes and shoes? Is this a form of autism. Ou grandaughter has sensory autism. So I deal with differnt things with her. He eats his shirts sometimes when I don't see him. I'm very worried Please help me find answers.Thanks Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

One drawback to using teether toys you buy at the grocery store, like the star vibrating teether is that these typically are not made for kids with teeth. They are made for infants to gum. Therefore, they can be very easy for older kids to bite through and can thus be unsafe.

Melissa, SLP from Washington

Jodi W. Brown said...

Another good use for the chewy tube is that it is also used to improve the speech. It helps to exercise the jaw and aids in building oral strength and control.chewy tubes online