Kim Kardashian Slammed for Letting North West Sleep in a Necklace — Is It Really Dangerous?

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Elise Solé
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Photo by Getty Images 

Platinum blonde hair aside, Kim Kardashian has a new controversy on her hands. The reality star’s parenting skills are being questioned after she posted a photo on Instagram showing her 19-month-old daughter North West wearing a pearl necklace to sleep, which commenters called a choking hazard.

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“Reading books before bedtime!” Kardashian captioned the photo of herself with a sleeping North, who was wearing a loose string of pearls. “Yeah with pearls around her neck which is a serious choking hazard,” wrote one commenter. “Why is North sleeping with her necklace on?” asked another. “Maybe it’s a teething necklace,” someone else wrote, referring to popular amber teething beads.

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But many doctors discourage parents from letting babies wear any type of jewelry, teething or decorative, due to safety concerns. “The risk is two-fold — strangulation and choking,” Natasha Burgert, a Missouri-based pediatrician told the New York Times. “And that’s not only for these teething necklaces.”

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Photo by Instagram/Kim Kardashian West 

Of so-called “baby bling,” pediatrician Sue Hubbard of Dallas, Texas, wrote in the Chicago Tribune, “Whenever a baby comes into my office wearing a necklace, I discuss the possibility, even if remote, of the child suffocating if the necklace got caught or twisted around the infant’s neck. There’s just no reason to even risk it!”

She added, “We pediatricians are no longer worried about peanut allergies in young children; the choking hazard is the real concern. It’s the same for necklaces. Let your child wear one of these when they can spell the word, or put one on when your 3-year-old plays dress up, but take it off once the play session is over. No young child should ever sleep in a necklace, or anything that has a cord.”

It’s advice that one Australian mom is taking to heart after her toddler was nearly strangled after falling asleep wearing a teething necklace. In February, Ashleigh Ferguson went to wake up her 21-month-old daughter Ellie and became alarmed when the child, who was lying facedown in her bed, didn’t move. Ferguson rolled her over and discovered that the toddler’s arm was tangled in the necklace which put dangerous pressure on her neck. Fortunately, Ellie survived, but Ferguson shared her experience on Facebook hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of baby jewelry. Her Facebook post was shared more than 60,000 times, which Ferguson called a “wakeup call” for parents.

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