The FDA is warning parents about teething jewelry, saying the devices could be potentially deadly.
According to a recent report, teething jewelry like necklaces or bracelets could lead to strangulation, choking, serious injuries or death.
The devices are often given to infants who are teething or to children and adults with special needs to redirect chewing on clothes or body parts.
The report says bracelets or necklaces made of amber, wood, marble or silicone beads could break, posing a choking hazard while necklaces could get caught on the child’s crib, leading to strangulation.
Dr. Kara Garcia of Tan & Garcia Pediatrics says she isn’t surprised by the report because anything that can go around the neck or is on a long string can pose a choking hazard and while parents may believe the necklaces or bracelets are helping their child, science says they are not.
“You’re balancing have these been shown to help in any way versus have they been shown to hurt in any way? They’ve definitely been shown to hurt but not yet shown to help,” says Dr. Garcia.
Dr. Garcia says babies begin teething around five months and can continue until they’re a year old. Some will not display any discomfort but others will be in pain.
Some believe a child that is teething may also have a fever but she says there isn’t a connection so if your child is in pain with a fever, see a doctor.
In the last five years, Dr. Garcia has seen an increase in babies wearing amber necklaces and says many parents believe the amber necklaces have anti-inflammatory properties or will help relieve pain.
Dr. Garcia says science does not support that.
If your child is teething and in pain, she suggests freezing a wet washcloth and allowing them to chew on it.
Popsicles or frozen plastic discs are also a safe way to help alleviate gum pain.
To view the FDA’s full report, click here.