One mum I asked about this, said: "I'm not worried about the ruling and I'm not taking my son's off. If I take it off the cheeks go red, the drool starts and he's crankier than usual.
I honestly thought it was a crock but got one as a gift and put it on him because I thought it was cute, made him look like a little surfer dude!
"It was only a week or two later when I took it off to wash it I realised within an hour all the symptoms of teething showed up - red cheeks, runny nose, drool - when I put it back on they stopped again, so I was sold! The good ones have safety features built in and to be honest he's swallowed much worse than a minuscule amber bead - I do baby led weaning so he's always gagging, little beads are the last of my worries!"
In my own house, little
Lego is everywhere - heads of legomen the same size as the amber beads are all over the floor discarded by my 5 year old. The youngest bites them off too - and guess what, he's never choked on one. He spits them out.
If we're banning amber beads, why not ban grapes? They are far more dangerous in choking terms because their size can block the windpipe - there has been incidents where grapes have killed toddlers who have swallowed them whole. Grapes or cherry tomatos are the size we need to be worried about, not tiny nuggets of amber that would just get swallowed whole if the unthinkable happened and the necklace broke.
Which brings me to the inbuilt safety feature of these necklaces - they don't break off: they are so tightly woven and with an extra safety stitch after each bead that they don't naturally break away from the necklace. And in safety tests, when smashed with force they just crumble into dust.
It's quite ironic really that the NCA's own research into amber teeting necklaces revealed that no instances of choking were found. It is simply the fear of the unknown that is driving this decision.
Because they need to give it a label, they reclassified the teething aid as a ‘toy’ - which means that because it contains 'small parts' it is not suitable forchildren under 36 months. But who would put a teething necklace on a 3 year old? It is effectively putting a whole segment of the market out of business.
Personally I think the NCAis scaremongering distressed mums by this new ruling, demonising something they've already been using problem-free for years. Thankfully, not every one is listening - they're using common sense and staying with their instincts.
Maybe I should just tell them that grapes are more dangerous and watch the shock on their faces...