FDA: do not use teething necklaces, bracelets

  • FDA

  • curated by Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Key information

  • 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.

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