Amber Teething Necklaces: A Caution for Parents
When parents see their baby suffering, they just want a solution. Amber teething necklaces have become an increasing popular alternative treatment to ease teething pain. But, are they effective and safe? The answer is NO.
Watch Out For Faulty Claims
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, the use of these necklaces is not supported by modern science. Retailers claim that when warmed by the baby's body temperature, the amber releases a pain-relieving substance that is then absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Additionally, promoters claim that they stimulate the thyroid gland (to control drooling) and improve the ability of the immune system to reduce inflammation in the ears, throat, stomach and respiratory system. However, there is currently no scientific research or evidence to back up these claims.
Why These Necklaces are Choking and Strangulation Hazards
"The risk is two-fold — strangulation and choking",said pediatrician Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP. It occurs when the necklaces are worn around a child's neck, especially when unsupervised (such as while sleeping) or if the child were to break the necklace and swallow the beads. However, those risks are not only for these teething necklaces.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend that infants wear any jewelry. Suffocation is the leading cause of death for children under a year old and among the top five causes of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.