FDA Warns Parents Against Teething Necklaces, Creams and Gels for Children

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When I had my first child, I soon realized that it’s a good thing that we don’t remember being babies. Why? Well, one major reason is teething pain. I don’t remember being a baby, and I don’t remember getting my baby teeth, but it sure looks painful when you see your own baby going through the ordeal.

Usually babies first start teething around 4 months, and the tell-tale signs are pretty easy to spot: excessive drooling, red cheeks, irritability, and sometimes even a low temperature.

As parents, it’s our natural instinct to want to do anything to make our children feel better and to eliminate pain. We search for effective remedies, and when one thing doesn’t work, we search for another one.

There are several remedies out there that are quite popular, but the Food and Drug Administration warns parents that some of these methods are not safe, namely teething jewelry and creams.

While many parents swear by the effectiveness of amber teething necklaces and other similar jewelry, there is no proof that the jewelry actually works.

In case you’re not familiar with such jewelry, these necklaces and bracelets are usually made up of a series of beads that are hooked together with a string, and they’re supposed to reduce if not eliminate teething pain and the associated drooling that goes along with it.

While some parents think this jewelry is effective, the FDA doesn’t think it’s worth the risk. This jewelry can actually be deadly.

There was a case where an 18-month old baby was strangled by a teething necklace during a nap, and there was another case where a 7-month old was rushed to the hospital after swallowing beads from a teething necklace.

As far as teething creams, they lose their effectiveness after just a few minutes because they get washed away by the baby’s saliva, and they can be dangerous if a baby swallows too much or if too much is applied.

What’s a parent to do? There are other safe and effective methods to relieve teething pain. Parents can try rubbing the baby’s tender gums with a clean finger and/or giving the baby a firm rubber teether to chew on. It’s also a good idea to talk to your pediatrician or family doctor to see what suggestions he or she has.

For more details about the FDA’s warning and recommendations, watch the video below.

If you have children, what did you do to help eliminate teething pain? Has your baby ever worn teething jewelry?