- Teething necklaces and bracelets carry a risk for choking, strangulation, and death and should not be used for children or for people with autism or other conditions for sensory intervention.
- Clinicians should counsel parents, caregivers, and health care providers to avoid using these products, says the FDA .
Why this matters
- The FDA says that these products are becoming “increasingly popular” and warns against their use.
- The FDA draws a distinction between these bracelets and necklaces made of beads and teething rings and teethers made of hard plastic/rubber and not worn; the former are subject to warning.
- The agency has received reports of serious injuries and deaths, including an 18-month-old who strangled to death during a nap.
- Other injuries are possible, including to the mouth and gums.
- The safety and effectiveness of these products are not established, says the FDA.
- The best ways to reduce teething pain include gentle massage of the gums, using a clean finger, or use of a firm rubber teething ring (not frozen).
- The agency also says to avoid products such as teething creams/gels, sprays, ointments.
- Benzocaine-containing products are linked to life-threatening methemoglobinemia.