FDA Warns of Risks of Teething Jewelry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning about safety risks of teething necklaces, bracelets to relieve teething pain, or to provide sensory stimulation.

USA Today reported that the Food and Drug Administration issued this warning after an 18-month-old was strangled by an amber teething necklace while taking a nap. In addition, a 7-month-old was hospitalized after choking on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet.

The FDA warns that parents, caregivers, and health care providers should not use teething jewelry to relieve teething pain in children or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs. Those special needs include autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The FDA identifies the following risks with teething jewelry:

* 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.

* Injury to the mouth if a piece of jewelry irritates or pierces the child’s gums.

* Amber teething necklaces contain a substance called succinic acid, which allegedly may be released into an infant’s blood stream in unknown quantities.

* The FDA has not evaluated manufacturer’s claims that succinic acid can act as an anti-inflammatory and that it relieves teething and joint pain. The FDA has not evaluated those claims for safety or effectiveness.

FDA Commissioner Scot Gottlieb, M.D., provided suggestions on how to relieve teething pain without using teething jewelry. Parents can rub their baby’s or toddler’s inflamed gums with a clean finger. Or, parents can use a teething ring made of firm rubber.

In addition to the recommendation that parents avoid giving their children teething jewelry, the FDA that parents and caregivers avoid using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain.

Image from Pexels

Related Articles at Families.com:

* FDA Recalls Certain Teething Rings

* Top 5 Teething Tips

* Typical Teething Problems