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Mothers' beliefs about infant teething in Enugu, South-east Nigeria: a cross sectional study

Gilbert N Adimorah, Agozie C Ubesie* and Josephat M Chinawa

Author Affiliations

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nigeria

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:228  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-228

Published: 1 July 2011



Parents and Health Care Workers have traditionally attributed a variety of symptoms to teething in young children. Some of these symptoms may however connote underlying serious medical condition in a child. There is little evidence to support these beliefs despite their implications on management of a symptomatic teething child. This study therefore seeks determine the beliefs and problems mothers associate with teething in Enugu, South-east Nigeria.


A cross-sectional survey involving sixty mothers presenting at a Children's clinic in Enugu metropolis using questionnaire. More than 90% of the respondents thought that babies can experience medical problems as a result of teething. The commonest medical problems perceived to be associated with teething were fever (71.7%), loose stools (58.3%) and vomiting (35%).


Mothers still associate a variety of symptoms of childhood illnesses to teething and this association is not evidence based and could lead to delayed interventions, increased morbidity and mortality of children. It is important therefore that mothers and health workers caring for young children are educated on the need to seek prompt medical attentions in a symptomatic child.

Teething; Children; associated symptoms; Enugu