For parents and caregivers, the world of teething and fussy children is probably familiar. Various avenues to soothe children who are teething can include teething rings, pain relievers, creams and sometimes teething jewelry. However, the Food and Drug Administration say that some of these avenues can be deadly.
The agency is now warning parents and families against the use of teething necklaces and jewelry to ease teething pain. The jewelry is also used by people with special needs for sensory stimulation. Many of these products are made of wood, amber, silicone or marble beads.
Recent reports contained in an FDA statement indicate that individuals have died or sustained injury from wearing them. One 18-month-old child was was strangled to death by an amber necklace during naptime, which can occur when the necklace is too tight on the child's neck or snags on a part of the crib. Choking can also occur if the necklace breaks and the beads get lodged in the throat. A 7-month-old was transported to a hospital after choking on wooden beads from a teething necklace.
The FDA also adds that "the safety and effectiveness" of teething jewelry to treat pain or sensory stimulation has not been proven.
They also warned against teething creams or sprays, which can cause methemoglobinemia, a reduction in oxygen in the bloodstream that can be fatal.
The agency says that they are monitoring reports of injury or death regarding these items, and encourages anyone who has had problems to report them here.
For parents who are wondering what other avenues to utilize for teething pain, the agency says talking to a doctor is a place to start. In a tweet sent out on Dec. 21, the agency also encouraged parents to consult the American Academy of Pediatrics' list of recommendations for teething infants and toddlers.
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