Parent's guide: Is teething jewellery safe for my child?
Mummies, you should stop wearing teething jewellery because it poses MANY hazards to your child.
You must be wondering, is teething jewellery safe to use? It’s an agonising time for you when your child is teething and there’s nothing you can do to calm him down. So as a parent, we resort to solutions such as teething necklaces, rubbing ointments and ice teethers to help soothe the discomfort and hopefully provide some remedy to their sore and inflamed gums.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised parents against the use of teething jewellery. This comes after a string of incidents with teething jewellery involving a 7 month old and an 18 month old baby.
The 7-month-old baby had choked on one of the wooden beads that came loose on the wooden bracelet even while under parental supervision. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution and thankfully survived.
The 18-month-old child was tragically strangled to death by an amber teething necklace while napping.
“We know that teething necklaces and jewellery products have become very popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
He also warned that teething jewellery can cause potential injury to the mouth or infections due to the beads causing irritations or piercing into the child’s gums.
Teething jewellery comes in various forms and materials. They could be made as bracelets, necklaces, or anklets. The most common material used are wood, silicone, amber, or marble.
The safety and effectiveness of using teething jewellery to treat teething pain or provide sensory stimulation have not actually been established. In order to prevent these incidents from happening again, the FDA is encouraging parents and caregivers to monitor the child closely or avoid using these products completely.
Teething jewellery is not the only way you can soothe your child’s teething pains. Here are some other methods you can try.
The alternative ways are rubbing or massaging inflamed gums with a clean finger. Don’t apply too much pressure. Just use a light press and do not massage for too long.
Teething creams and benzocaine gels, sprays, and ointments for mouth and gum pain for children below 2 years old is advised against. Teething gels can cause a rare condition called methemoglobinemia. This condition causes a reduction of oxygen carried through the blood and it is life threatening.
You can try using a cold washcloth, spoon or chilled teething ring. But do not give your child a frozen teething ring as this might cause potential injury.
If your child is being cared for by a caregiver, educate them on safe ways to reduce teething pain.
Read also: The go-to guide for teething in kids