SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say you might want to put down your teething necklace and bracelet for good.
This comes after the FDA released reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children. One report mentioned a 7-month old who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under supervision. Another involved an 18-month-old child who strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap.
This warning goes for young children who use the jewelry for teething pain as well as children with autism who use it for sensory stimulation, the FDA said.
In addition to choking and strangulation, the FDA said the jewelry could increase risk of infection if a piece of it irritates or pierces the child’s gums. Amber necklaces also contain a substance called succinic acid, which manufacturers say helps relieve pain. The FDA has not tested these claims.
“We know that teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs. We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
The FDA continues to recommend avoiding teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays and other products for pain relief as they can create deadly conditions.