‘It shouldn’t have happened’: Baby allegedly strangled to death by teething necklace

Danielle Morin didn’t think twice about letting her 18-month-old son, Deacon, use the beaded teething necklace she was given as a gift.Story continues belowShe assumed that the accessory, meant to help alleviate her baby’s teething pain, was safe for babies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.In October 2016, Deacon was placed down for a nap at daycare when the necklace allegedly tightened around his neck and constricted his breathing.The child was rushed to hospital but he didn’t survive.READ MORE: Mom left devastated after toddler dies choking on bouncy ballNow, Morin has filed a lawsuit against Etsy, the retail website which sold the teething necklace. She argues that Etsy is legally responsible for Deacon’s death.“I want parents to know there is no more Toys R Us… people need to go online to buy products… and these products aren’t always safe,” Morin said in an interview with Yahoo.“No parent should have to grieve a child. No parent should have to bury their child.”In response, Etsy released a statement which said: “While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item. We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace.”Unfortunately, Deacon’s death was completely avoidable.In the opinion of Dr. Dan Flanders, the founder of Kindercare Pediatrics, the baby shouldn’t have had the teething necklace in the first place.“One completely preventable death is one too many. It shouldn’t have happened.”In Flanders’ opinion, there are two ways teething necklaces could put babies in danger.“One, it could cause strangulation,” he said. “The other is that… the necklace could break and then [the child] could put those little beads in their mouth — they could be a choking hazard.”Dr. Catherine Cox, a resident in the Dalhousie University department of family medicine, agrees.She recently conducted a case study on a baby who suffered from non-fatal infant strangulation caused by a teething necklace.While no deaths caused by teething necklaces have been reported in Canada, there have been several cases of non-fatal strangulation. This can cause oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain and result in serious health consequences.Despite these risks, manufacturers continue to sell these products — and parents continue to buy them.READ MORE: Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study“The distribution of these products that have warnings have actually increased in the past five years,” said Cox. “So people are using more of these products, despite the dangers.”According to Cox, manufacturers will try to offset these worries by making erroneous claims about different safety features.“A lot of manufacturers explicitly counter the intuitive risk of strangulation or aspiration by saying that there’s a knot between each bead that reduces the probability of [them] becoming loose,” she said.They’ll also claim the necklace has “a clasp break that will break under tension… so the risk of strangulation is minimized, but there’s actually no validity to support that,” Cox said.“Health Canada has actually issued several warnings around these products in the past.”WATCH BELOW: Keeping your kids safe in the car

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