Tiny ring is lovely gift but could hurt a baby

TOTS TO TEENS

February 22, 1994|By Modena Wilson, M.D. and Alain Joffe, M.D. | Modena Wilson, M.D. and Alain Joffe, M.D.,Special to The Sun

Q: A friend came to see our 4-month-old for the first time and brought an unusual gift -- a pretty little gold ring. Is is all right for her to wear it?

We have seen several babies wearing rings recently, but we worry about them.

Babies' hands grow quickly. A ring that just fits now will soon be too tight.

A tight ring might restrict growth or become difficult to remove as the finger grows. On the other hand, if a ring is loose, it might slip off.

That could be quite dangerous because it might be swallowed. Remember, babies often suck their fingers and put small objects in their mouths!

So we don't think the ring is safe on your baby's finger.

She shouldn't wear it on a necklace, either.

Any chain or cord around her neck might get caught and choke her.

We recommend that you treasure the ring as a keepsake rather than considering it jewelry to be worn.

Dr. Wilson is director of general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center; Dr. Joffe is director of adolescent medicine.

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