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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning parents and guardians about the safety risks of teething jewelry following the death of an 18-month-old child. The young child was strangled by his amber teething necklace during a nap, the FDA reports.
““We know that teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs,” FDA Commisioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says.
In a separate incident, a 7-month-old child choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision. They were taken to the hospital.
“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,” adds FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
The risks of using teething jewelry are numerous and include: choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection. Officials say the jewelry can irritate or pierce a child’s gum and can also release a substance known as “succinic acid” into the bloodstream of a child.
The FDA also recommends avoiding teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain. The use of those products can be life-threatening and can result in death.
Instead, health officials recommend using a firm rubber teething ring or massaging your child’s gums with your finger to ease teething pain.
For more information and other suggestions for teething pain relief, visit the FDA’s website here.