There have been several reports of infant injuries and death related to the use of teething jewelries such as bracelets and necklaces. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning parents against the use of such items on their children.
Injury And Death From Teething Jewelry
On Dec. 20, the FDA issued an alert for parents, caregivers, or health care providers regarding the possible risks involved when using teething jewelry to relieve teething pain for children. These items include bracelets, necklaces, or anklets made from various materials such as silicone, wood, amber, or marble and may be worn by a child or an adult for the purpose of relieving teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation to people with special needs.
Evidently, the agency has received reports of serious injuries and death from using the said teething jewelry. For instance, there have been reports of choking and strangulation from using such items, including the case of a 7-month old infant who choked on the wooden beads of a teething bracelet even while under parental supervision and another in an 18-month old child who was strangled to death by an amber teething necklace during a nap.
In a statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. notes that the agency is aware of teething jewelries’ growing popularity among parents and caregivers, which is why they want them to be more aware of the potential dangers the children might be in. Apart from the choking and strangulation hazards, children might also experience mouth injuries, infections, gum irritation, or possible effects from succinic acid, an anti-inflammatory substance that may be released into the children's bloodstream in unknown quantities.
Instead of using such teething items, Commissioner Gottlieb recommends parents to instead follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ advice for relieving teething pains by rubbing the gums with a clean finger, or by using teething rings made of firm rubber.
Apart from teething jewelry, the agency is also advising against teething creams, sprays, ointments, benzocaine gels, and solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain.