After a cleft palate repair, why should the use of a drinking straw be avoided?
• A child with cleft palate repair should not use a straw because it or any object in the mouth, especially anything with firms edges, could tear the suture line.
• Suction in the mouth from sucking on a straw in the immediate recovery period is also not desired because it could stimulate bleeding.
• Feedings are resumed shortly after surgery to improve nutritional status. It is important that no tension is placed on the suture. When the child begins eating soft food, he or she should not use a hard utensil because the child will invariably put it against the roof of the mouth and possibly disrupt the sutures.