An 18-month-old died from strangulation after falling asleep wearing an amber teething necklace. After the death was reported to the FDA, the FDA responded with a warning that teething necklaces are dangerous and should not be used. The FDA issued the warning on Thursday and provided alternatives to help with teething related pain.
In a warning letter issued on Thursday, the FDA outlined numerous issues related to the necklaces. The warning letter followed a report that an 18-month-old baby died from strangulation after wearing the necklace during a nap. 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.”
The homeopathic community has pushed amber necklaces as an option to relieve pain. The theory used to sell the product is that amber released succinic acid which is a healing property. However, for the amber to release succinic acid, the amber must reach a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The necklaces are trendy in the alternative health and natural parenting world. Despite the anecdotes by parents of claiming the necklaces work, there is no scientific evidence supporting they work.
Additionally, the FDA warned against the use of homeopathic rubs, tablets to relieve teething pain, or over the counter rubbing medications.
Instead of necklaces or rubs, the FDA provided a few suggestions for managing teething pain. One option is to give a teething ring made from hard rubber.
When a child uses a teething ring, parent supervision is necessary to ensure safety from choking. Additionally, the FDA advised never to give a child a frozen teething ring. If the child’s gums have swelling and tenderness, the FDA suggests gently rubbing the gum with a finger to decrease pain.
If you enjoy my articles, please consider a one time gift via my Buy Me a Coffee Account. I work hard to provide insightful content every day for you to enjoy.
Subscribe and commit to a small monthly donation to support my writing. Patrons receive access to individual messages from me, inside information, and a community to talk with other like-minded people.