Do NOT give your baby a teething necklace: FDA warns parents away from biting beads after an infant was strangled by its jewelry
- Babies start teething between four and six months
- Proper objects to chew on can help encourage their teeth to erupt and salves can soothe their swollengums
- But beaded teething necklaces are not safe, the FDA is reminding parents.
- An 18-month-old was recently strangled to death by his teething necklace during his nap
Stay away from necklaces and bracelets used to relieve teething pain in infants, the US health regulator warned parents and caregivers on Thursday, after reports of a death and several serious injuries.
Known as ‘teething jewelry’, these products come in various shapes and are used by parents and caregivers to relieve infants’ teething pain and other ailments.
They are also often used by children with special needs such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for sensory stimulation.
The FDA said it received a report of an 18-month-old, who was strangled to death by his teething necklace during a nap.
Teething necklaces may be a tempting way to sooth a fussy baby, but the FDA warns that no jewelry is safe for infants after an 18-month-old was strangled to death by his
Typically between four and six months, teeth start to erupt through babies’ gums.
It’s a crucial development stage, but not a particularly pleasant one for infants – or their parents.
Babies may get fussy around this time, crying more often and looking for more objects to gnaw on in order to encourage the gums to break away, the teeth to emerge and the pain to go away.
Their mouths and gums may get swollen and sensitive too, tempting parents to give them anything that will sooth the inflammation.
Some parents have chosen to give their children a bead necklace to chew on, which may seem convenient since it is always on their bodies.
Parents that want to keep things ‘natural’ sometimes give their infants amber necklaces, as the resin form them is advertised to have soothing anti-inflammatory properties.
But if you’re considering doing the same – don’t, the FDA urges.
The agency also received reports of injuries including that of a seven-month-old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet and was taken to the hospital.
‘Consumers should consider following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations of alternative ways for treating teething pain, such as rubbing inflamed gums with a clean finger or using a teething ring made of firm rubber,’ FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
The risks of using jewelry for relieving teething pain include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth and infection.
The FDA said it would monitor reports of adverse events related to teething jewelry, adding that it continues to recommend that caregivers avoid using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain.
(Aakash Jagadeesh Babu and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)