The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against the use of teething jewelry after an 18-month-old boy reportedly died while using the item.
The FDA made the announcement after the beads from the jewelry strangled the toddler while he napped. The federal agency also cited an incident with a 7-month-old who reportedly choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision and required hospitalization.
Teething beads are used to provide pain relief for teething babies or sensory stimulation to persons with special needs, including autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, in light of the increased reports of injuries and death, the FDA deferred to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics’, who advises for rubbing inflamed gums with a clean finger or using a rubber-based teething ring as treatments for inflamed gums.
“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, M.D. said in the statement. “Given the breadth of the market for these teething necklaces and jewelry, we’re sharing this important safety information directly to consumers in order to help prevent injuries in infants and kids.”
The FDA also indicated that the beaded rings could leave babies at risk for mouth injury and infection. They specifically called attention to amber teething necklaces, which they said contains a substance—succinic acid—which could be released into the bloodstream in unknown quantities. While succinic acid is advertised as an anti-inflammatory which relieves joint and teething-related pain, the agency said they haven’t evaluated those claims.
They concluded, “The FDA will continue to closely monitor adverse event reports associated with jewelry used for relieving teething pain and will communicate further as warranted
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