Dummies are part of many parents’ tool kit; especially when it comes to settling newborn babies. However in recent years decorated dummies with small crystals, cords and ribbons have become a fashionable trend. Be aware that if any of the decoration or bling becomes dislodged, they put your baby at serious risk of choking.
Following an increase in incident reports, decorated dummies (known as ‘dummy bling’) have been banned in Australia by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
Why dummy ‘bling’ is unsafe
Unfortunately, social media photos of cute babies with crystal encrusted dummies are encouraging unsafe practices.
- Embellishments are often attached with toxic glues that shouldn’t be near a baby’s mouth.
- When embellishments become dislodged, they put the baby at risk of choking
- Many novelty dummies come with bead strings or straps to attach them to the baby and these put baby at risk of entanglement and strangulation, particularly if they are put down to sleep with it attached.
But I can still buy dummy ‘bling’ online – it must be OK?
It is still possible to buy decorated dummies online from overseas suppliers but the availability of them does not reduce the risk involved.
For more product safety information go to the ACCC Product Safety website.
Are all dummies unsafe to use?
Plain simple dummies can be safe to use and there are many recommendations around when to introduce them and when to wean off them. From a safety perspective, always remember to:
- Choose a dummy with a shield and ventilation holes to prevent suffocation
- Check the dummy before each use by pulling gently on the teat and tug the handle or ring to make sure it will not come apart.
- Never attach a dummy to clothes, cots or prams with a string, ribbon or strap as it puts the baby at risk of strangulation.
- Always inspect that the teat is intact and attached well to the shield and handle
- Never leave a baby with a dummy in their mouth if they cannot remove it on their own.
Need some advice?
Kidsafe Qld’s mission is to provide evidence-based practical advice to empower parents and caregivers to make informed choices to prevent childhood injuries. We are at your service and welcome any questions you might have around injury prevention and keeping kids safe at home, on the road and at play.
Call Kidsafe Qld: 3854 1829