September 17, 2019

FDA Warns Against Teething Necklaces and Bracelets

The FDA is warning parents about the risk of teething necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry that is marketed for relieving teething pain or providing sensory stimulation because they could be choking or strangulation devices. The safety of teething jewelry has not been determined.

Teething Necklaces and Bracelets Warning

These products are not the same as teething rings or teethers, which are made of hard plastic or rubber and are not worn on the body.

Teething jewelry is made of beads of amber, wood, marble, or silicone. This jewelry may also be used by people with special needs to redirect chewing on body parts for clothing. These products can also cause injury to the mouth or an infection in the gums.

The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulations and choking, caused by these necklaces and bracelets. Specifically, a 7 month old child choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision. And an 18-month old child was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace while taking a nap.

Strangulation can happen if one of these necklaces is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck, or if the necklace catches on an object.

Parents should also avoid using teething creams and benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions, and lozenges for mouth and gum pain in children under the age of 2. Benzocaine and other local anesthetics can cause methemoglobinemia, which is a serious condition where oxygen in the blood is reduced. This is a life-threatening condition.

The American Dental Association offers help with teething pain. That organization recommends teethers made of solid rubber. Parents should avoid using liquid-filled teething rings. And they also say that just because an object is marketed as a teether doesn’t mean it’s safe. The CDC published a case report of an infant who suffered lead poisoning after chewing on a homeopathic magnetic hematite health bracelet.

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