FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain or Providing Sensory Stimulation: FDA Safety Communication

December 26, 2018  09:27

Audience
Parents or caregivers of infants with teething pain.
Parents or caregivers of individuals with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who use necklaces and bracelets to provide sensory stimulation or redirect chewing.
Health care providers who interact with these caregivers who use or may consider using necklaces and bracelets marketed for relieving teething pain or providing sensory stimulation.

Medical Specialties
All primary care specialties including general pediatrics, pediatric dentistry, family medicine, general internal medicine, family and pediatric nurse practitioners.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental and behavioral specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, general nursing and certified nursing assistants.

Product
Teething jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry that can be worn by either an adult or child, and is often marketed to relieve an infant’s teething pain. The beads of the jewelry may be made with various materials such as amber, wood, marble, or silicone. Jewelry marketed for teething pain is not the same as teething rings or teethers, which are made of hard plastic or rubber, and are not worn by an adult or child.

Teething jewelry may also be used by people with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to provide sensory stimulation or redirect chewing on clothes or body parts.

Purpose
The FDA is alerting parents, caregivers, and health care providers that necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain should not be used with infants or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Such use could lead to strangulation, choking, serious injuries, or death. The safety and effectiveness of teething jewelry to treat teething pain and/or provide sensory stimulation have not been established.

Summary of Problem and Scope
The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by necklaces and bracelets often marketed for relieving teething pain. Parents and other caregivers may use these products to help relieve teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation in people with special needs. The risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection. Choking may occur if the jewelry breaks and small beads or the whole piece of jewelry enter the child’s throat or airway.

The FDA received a report of a 7-month old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Strangulation can happen if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck or if the necklace catches on an object such as a crib. The FDA received a report of an 18-month old child who was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap. Other concerns include potential injury to the mouth or infection if a piece of the jewelry irritates or pierces the child’s gums.

Full article: FDA

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