PUBLIC Health chiefs in Gibraltar have warned about the danger to babies caused by teething necklaces.
Dr Helen Carter, Director of Public Health and the Gibraltar Health Authority said they could strangle or choke babies.
The teething necklaces have become popular with parents who want to aid their children as they go through their early years when their first teeth come out.
But the health authority has tried to warn that these necklaces could have lethal consequences.
“We know that teething necklaces and jewellery products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain,” said Dr. Carter.
“At Public Health, we are concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewellery puts children at risk of serious injury.”
Although teething necklaces are sold strictly for the parent or care-giver to wear, the health authority wanted to be clear that babies could be more at risk if the necklaces are put around their necks.
This is especially true if the necklace breaks or the the clasp fails.
Babies would quickly swallow the inedible beads, causing choking and possible death, Public Health warned.
The health authority claimed there was ‘no scientific research’ to back up the health benefits of these necklaces.
“The risks associated to teething necklaces is two-fold — strangulation and choking,” added Dr Carter.
“It occurs when the necklaces are worn around a child’s neck, especially when unsupervised (such as while sleeping) or if the child were to break the necklace and swallow the beads.
“However, those risks are not only for these teething necklaces.”
Public Health Gibraltar has advised the public to report any such accidents to them in confidentiality.
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