Teething jewellery banned in Ireland after study finds serious concerns

Teething jewellery has been banned from being sold in Ireland, after the discovery that it can be potentially life-threatening to babies.

Across Europe, amber bead products are advertised and sold as teething soothers. 

However, the beads – which are typically sold as necklaces, bracelets and anklets – have now been classed as a serious risk to babies and small children, as they have the potential to cause strangulation and choking.

As a result, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has now stopped the sale and marketing of the beads for young children in a number of Irish retailers.

Amber beads can continue to be sold in Ireland in stores and online, as long as they are targeted towards adults or older children.

The CCPC acted on consumer reports to reach their ruling, approaching multiple distributors across Ireland and working closely with the HSE to provide up-to-date information on amber beads teething jewellery.

Speaking about the decision, the CCPC director of communications, Grainne Griffin, asked the public to be aware of the issue and to contact the watchdog if they see teething jewellery, or any other potential hazards, being advertised for small children.

“While teething can be a distressing and often exhausting time for parents and children alike, this dangerous jewellery is not a remedy, it’s a risk,” she stated.

“Amber teething jewellery can come apart in a baby’s mouth causing the baby to choke or to swallow the beads. Also, as with any cords around a baby or child’s neck, there is a risk of strangulation,” she explained.

Dr Abigail Collins, HSE national clinical lead for Child Health Public Health, also went on to note: “Not only is there a strangulation and choking risk, there is no convincing evidence to support claims that amber teething jewellery provides pain relief.”

“It can be upsetting for parents to see babies and young children in discomfort from teething. Depending on their age and stage, you can use teething rings, sugar-free teething gel or cold water and healthy foods to chew on,” Dr Collins suggested.

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