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Would you tape your child's mouth shut to try and help them get a better night's sleep?

Posted at 5:57 AM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 08:46:57-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — We're always looking for better ways to help our children sleep but, what about taping their mouths shut?

That's what one famous Indonesian singer is doing, after posting a photo of her two-year-old sleeping with a piece of tape on their mouth.

This method is designed to teach children how to breathe through their noses in a practice called buteyko.

Supporters of this method say it can help alleviate anything from asthma, to snoring, to sleep apnea, detractors worry however that this practice is not safe.

"It's scary, it's very scary," says Nancy Mayne who watches her grandchildren during the week.

"If the baby needed to cry out, how could it ask for help, or if something flew up his nose, how is he going to breathe?" says Kimberly Fenzel a mother of two, and a full-time nanny.

It's not just parents who are wary about the potential dangers buteyko poses for young children. Dr. Jennifer McVige with the Dent Neurologic Institute also believes the safety concerns outweigh any potential benefits. She strongly discourages parents from buying mouth tape and putting it on their kids.

"It's very challenging when you're sleeping to defend yourself against stopping breathing, and it's incredibly concerning," McVige continues, "with children, they don't know any better and they don't know how to take a bandaid off let alone tape over their mouth."