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Dr. Brown's pacifier holders recalled due to increased chance of choking

Dr. Brown's is voluntarily recalling its Lovey pacifier & teether holders because the ribbons can snap and fray, causing a potential choking hazard.
/ Source: TODAY

Parents who use Dr. Brown’s Lovey pacifier & teether holders should check the tags before allowing their children to continue using them. The company is recalling 590,000 stuffed animal holders because the ribbons can break and could potentially become a choking hazard. There have been 67 reports of the ribbons snapping or fraying, but no reports of injuries.

“For more than 20 years, Dr. Brown’s has developed products that promote good health for baby — and we take that job very seriously. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this voluntary recall of the Lovey pacifier & teether holder may cause,” Jesse Lehnhoff, marketing director for Dr. Brown’s, told TODAY in a statement.

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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shared the recall on its website. It urged people with eight types of holders — giraffes, zebras, turtles, deer, bunnies, reindeer, frogs and spring bunnies (the latter three are special holiday products) — to see if the codes matched the ones being recalled, which include: ICH0615; RICH0715; RICH0815; RICH1215; RICH0516; RICH0616; RICH0716; RICH1116; RICH1016; RICH0916; RICH1216; RICH0317; RICH0417; RICH0517; RICH0617; RICH0717; RICH0817; RICH0917.

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Bed Bath and Beyond, H-E-B Grocery, Kmart, Target, Toys ‘R Us/Babies ‘R Us, Walmart and Amazon sold the pacifier and teether holders from August 2015 until August 2018.

People with recalled holders should contact Dr. Brown's for instructions on how to replace them. It is essential to take recalled holders away from children.

“We are committed to making this right and encourage all consumers affected by the recall to check the recall page on our website and contact us for a replacement,” Lehnhoff said.

Jennifer Hoekstra, an injury prevention specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said this recall serves as a reminder that parents need to be mindful about purchasing and using pacifiers and holders.

“It is important to read all of the safety warnings on the pacifiers and their clips and holders,” she told TODAY. “(Make sure) it is age appropriate. They are designed for those ages and stages of childhood.”

While pacifier use is safe and there’s evidence that it reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), pacifier and teething holders can lead to injury if children use them without supervision.

“Anything that is attached to the pacifier does actually present a new form of danger, like strangulation or choking or suffocation,” she said.

But she said children can safely use holders when adults watch. And, Hoekstra encourages parents to follow their instincts when it comes to what works best for their children.

“I want to make life as simple for moms as possible. I want to take fear out of making mistakes. You know what is right for your kid, read the packages, read the labels and make a decision,” she said.