Following the death of an 18-month-old who was strangled by his amber teething necklace, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents about the dangers of jewellery marketed for teething, People reported.
"We're concerned about the risks we've observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
According to the FDA, any jewellery made from amber, wood, marble, or silicone that an adult can wear should not be given to a teething child, even if it is marketed to help with teething pain. Necklaces and bracelets made from these materials, and especially those that have beads, can strangle or choke a child who uses them and potentially be fatal.
Rather than use potentially life-threatening objects for teething, the FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend parents give babies firm rubber teething rings to help with pain. Parents and caregivers can also gently massage a baby's gums with a clean finger to help soothe them, according to the AAP.
In addition to teething jewellery, the AAP also warns against the use of frozen rubber teethers which can become too hard and "cause more harm than good," according to the AAP website. Special tablets sold to relieve gum pain like may also contain dangerous a plant poison called belladonna and gels with benzocaine are dangerous too.
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