Parents need to know the Health Risks involved with Jewelry & Kids

24 Jan

From furniture straps, to locks placed on cabinets, to covers on electrical outlets—there are several things that concerned families can do to protect their children around their home. But when it comes to child safety, one often overlooked health risk is the harm that jewelry can cause children.

Jewelry, despite its beauty and trendiness, can be hazardous to your child’s health if not carefully monitored. Concerned parents should keep jewelry on their radar when it comes to protecting their children’s well-being—here’s a few reasons why.


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Allergic Reactions

One of the most common dangers associated with childhood jewelry is an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system reacts negatively to certain materials included in the jewelry. Such reactions can result in a wide range of symptoms that leave the skin sensitive and feeling irritated. This is referred to as contact dermatitis. Symptoms may include rashes, redness, bumps, itching, blisters and dry patches of skin. Such skin allergies from jewelry can even result in severe cases that require hospitalization.

One such material that most often causes an allergic reaction is nickel. Parents may not even be aware that their child has an allergy problem until it is too late and the child has already worn the jewelry. This often happens when parents or relatives purchase a baby’s first pair of earrings or other jewelry. Unfortunately, for a young child, an allergic reaction can leave them feeling uncomfortable and even downtrodden when they cannot wear a favorite ring, necklace, bracelet or earrings that they have just received.


Toxic Metals

Toxicity is another danger associated with child jewelry. This is because toxic metals may have been used to manufacture the jewelry. Two such metals are lead and cadmium. While lead has been largely banned in the United States it has still been found in some products—especially those with surface paint. Lead poisoning is dangerous and has been proven to cause developmental delays and even death in small children.

Similar to lead, cadmium is a soft compound that is used in many manufacturing processes, replacing lead in many instances. However, cadmium is 10x’s more toxic than lead or mercury and it can cause damage to the digestive system, the nervous system, result in kidney problems, developmental delays, and bone reduction. Furthermore, it is a carcinogen and poses a major cancer risk.


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Small Parts

Furthermore, jewelry for children is often comprised of small parts and pieces that include beads, charms and clasps. Many times these items can be pulled apart or broken easily by rambunctious or curious children. These small parts can become dangerous when consumed. This could pose choking hazards as well as the potential to introduce dangerous substances into the body.

For instance, a child may have an upset stomach but a parent may never know it was the result of consuming a small piece of toxic jewelry and may mistake the child’s symptoms as a common ailment. The same holds true for small batteries which are often included in jewelry that lights up or that has other flashy elements that often attract the attention of children. If a child removes these batteries and swallows them, these harmful elements could wreak havoc on the child’s body.

Everyday items like jewelry can have potentially dangerous health risks for children. From allergies, to the risk of toxicity, to choking dangers associated with small parts—it is important for parents to understand how jewelry can impact their child’s well-being. To counter the hidden dangers of jewelry, parents can do a number of things.

These include:

  • never leaving children unattended when wearing jewelry
  • buying locally made jewelry from reputable companies
  • researching the jewelry before letting a child wear it
  • properly securing batteries and,
  • encouraging children to never place jewelry in their mouths.

It does not matter if your child is wearing fine jewelry from a top retailer or costume jewelry from a dollar store, safeguard your child’s health by always keeping these necessary precautions in mind.
Guest Post: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance Hilary Smithjournalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics and wishes to help parents raise their children to be the best they can be.  Follow her on Twitter!



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