According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about teething jewelry following the death of an 18-month-old infant, who was strangled by an amber teething necklace during a nap. The FDA also received a report on a 7-month-old baby who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain, and provide sensory stimulation for children with special needs. Despite parents claiming the necklaces work, there is no scientific evidence supporting they work.
A warning letter issued by the FDA said:
“The risks of using jewelry for relieving teething pain include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth and infection. Choking can happen if the jewelry breaks and a small bead enters the child’s throat or airway.
Strangulation can occur if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck or if the necklace catches an object such as a crib. Other concerns include injury to the mouth or infection if a piece of the jewelry irritates or pierces the child’s gums.
In addition to choking and strangulation concerns, amber teething necklaces contain a substance called succinic acid, which allegedly may be released into an infant’s blood stream in unknown quantities.
Manufacturers of these products often claim succinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves teething and joint pain. The FDA has not evaluated these claims for safety or effectiveness and recommends parents not use these products.”
As an alternative to teething necklaces, the FDA recommends using a firm rubber teething ring or massaging your child’s gums with your finger to ease pain during teething. They advise against using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain. Anesthetics such as benzocaine can cause a condition known as methemoglobinemia, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the child’s blood. For the safety of your infant and toddler, please dispose of any teething necklaces you own.
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