In this study, tongue movements of normal 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old children were measured and compared. The 4-year-olds were also compared with 4-year-old children in a previous study (Schwartz J: Observation of Tongue and Jaw Movement in Normal Four- and Five-Year-Old Children, master’s thesis. Washington University, School of Occupational Therapy, St. Louis, MO, 1982). Measures were taken on 56 children: 17 two-year-olds (8 females, 9 males), 19 three-year-olds (10 females, 9 males), and 20 four-year-olds (10 females, 10 males). Two different tongue positions were quantified: First, the position of the tongue as the food was presented to the child at the moment when the food was 5 cm away from the lips and second, the position of the tongue as the food was swallowed. Younger children held their tongues in a more forward position when the food was presented, although the predominant tongue position was behind the teeth in all three age groups. During swallowing there was also a progression, as age increased, from pursing the lips to puckering at the corners of the mouth. Many children kept their mouth open during swallowing. These results provide further normative data for the assessment of eating-impaired children.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.