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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration here is warning consumers to refrain from using recalled liquid-filled babies' teething rings from Stoughton, Mass.-based RC2 Brands (The First Years) and purchased at major retailers and grocery, drug, and specialty stores from July 20005 to January 2006, noting that the liquid in the rings contains harmful bacteria that could cause serious illness if swallowed, or absorbed through a cut in the mouth.
According to the FDA, the risk of illness is particularly high in babies with compromised immune systems due to malnutrition, blood problems, a result of cancer therapy, or other reasons.
"FDA is closely monitoring the recall to ensure that all these teething rings are removed from the market and that consumers are alerted to the problem," said Dr. Daniel Schultz, director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement. "The agency is also taking a careful look at other RC2/The First Years products to determine if any others are contaminated with the bacteria."
RC2 Brands stopped distributing the teethers and began a recall of the products last month. Prior to the recall, about 352,000 were distributed in the United States. The specific recalled products are as follows:
--Disney Days of Hunny Soft Cool Ring Teether -- Style #Y1447
--Disney Soft Cool Ring Teether -- Style #Y1470
--Disney Soft Cool Ring Teether -- Style #Y1490
--Sesame Beginnings Chill & Chew Teether -- Style #Y3095
--The First Years Cool Animal Teether, fish, zebra, and dinosaur designs -- Style #Y1473
--The First Years Floating Friend Teether -- Style # Y1474
RC2 has so far received 105 complaints of fluid leakage, 14 reports of sharp edges that resulted in nine incidents of cuts, and two reports of babies biting through the rings. The teething rings were made in Hong Kong and sold in both the United States and Canada.
Consumers who bought any of the recalled products are being instructed to put them in plastic bags and return them by mail to the company. The FDA is requesting people to report any adverse reactions or quality problems in connection with the teething rings to its MedWatch program by phone, fax, mail, or online.